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Strabo mentions a city in Egypt named Phacusa. He placed it upstream of a channel that joins the Red Sea. Champollion has reported in "Egypt under the Pharaohs" that Stephen the Byzantine has positioned this city between Egypt and the Red Sea. The first translator of the hieroglyphics saw its ruins near Poubasti, at the locality known as "Tall Faqus" or simply "Fakus". This is a city still existing under this name and is highly urbanized. It has never been the subject of archaeological excavations.

The location of this city raises the question of ancient navigation between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean:

The Anonymous of Ravenna named this city “Phagusa”. During late Rome empire, this town is certified in the province of Augustamnica Prima. It was the seat of a diocese. It appears on the Tabula Peutingeriana, written “Phacussi”.

Heinrich Brugsch and Edouard Naville Phacusa have placed it to the Tall al-Saft Hinnah, but is now largely accepted that the latter site was the ancient Per-Sopdu, whose ruins are near Fakus. At a later period, Phakusa and Per-Sopdu were both located in the twentieth nome of Lower Egypt or Arabia called Soped. Phakusa was his the main town.

Naville says that this city was called in Egyptian "Pa Kes" : "Pa" or "Pi" means "house". And so it would be the same city which was called "Kes", which is mentioned in an inscription dedicated to the god Soped on the coffin of Nectanebo II. This same name was deformed "Kesem", and would be the Goshen of the Exodus.

The phonetic proxymity of “Kes” and “Kish” is noteworthy and is probably not a coincidence. I think this city was the capital of Kush, towards the beginning of the history of ancient Egypt: it is called "Kus-xes the miserable” on the pylons of Karnak.


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My notes of veracity :

The Tell Fakus is the ancient city of Phacusa or Kes: 3/5

Tag(s) : #Empire of Egypt, #Kingdom: Lower Egypt, #Region:Levant

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