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El-Bahnasa (Oxyrhynchus): the modern cemetery

Ancient and mediaeval tombs dot the rubbish-mounds west of the modern village and the ground beyond towards the desert. Now as then, the site serves as the principal cemetery not only for the modern village but for a considerable area round about. The modern cemetery is located close in to the village, west and south-west of it, partly on flat ground but partly with tombs scattered over the tops of nearby rubbish mounds, preventing excavation there. These mounds apparently contained only mediaeval and later rubbish, not papyri, and were ignored by Grenfell and Hunt, but they may well conceal architectural remains of the Roman period, for example the conjectured north-south extension of Petrie’s colonnade. More such architectural remains may well lie directly under the modern village, cf. the aerial views and the 1980s excavation photographs.