This ancient city named for a kind of sharp-nosed fish is best known for its trash heaps. What kind of paper in the trash is so valuable?


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Fred Hamill Profile
Fred Hamill answered
That would be PAPYRUS, a thick material of a paper-like consistency produced from the pith of the papyrus plant (latin: Cyperus papyrus), which was a wetland sedge plant once in ready availability in the Nile Delta of Egypt.

The ancient city named for a kind of sharp-nosed fish would be OXYRHYNCHUS, a city in Upper Egypt, which is located roughly 160 kilometers south west of Cairo.

The city was named after a type of sharp-nosed fish that was found in the River Nile. This fish was important in Egyptian mythology as the fish that ate Osiris' penis, although it is not known exactly which species of fish this could be.

Theories abound on what type of fish could commit such a heinous crime, one being a variety of mormyrid, a mid sized fish of fresh water that is factored into various Egyptian artworks heavily. These particular fish have very recognizable snouts and barbells, which among aquarists and ichthyologists, lends them the common nickname of 'elephantnoses'. A figurine found at Oxyrhynchus (the city is now widely an archeological site, considered one of the most important in the world), of these sacred fish has very many features in common with mormyrids; the down turned snout, the long anal fin, the widely spaced pelvic and pectoral fins, and the small caudal fin.

For about a hundred years now, the cities importance as a site of vast archeological importance has led to it being almost continually excavated. This has brought about the discovery of a huge amount of papyrus texts dating back thousands of years. Fragments of the Gospel of Thomas have even been found among the texts at this site.

It is thought that for more than a thousand years, the population of the city dumped their rubbish among a series of specified sites out in the sands of the desert far beyond the town limits. As this town was built on a canal of the Nile, and not on the Nile itself, it was not prone to the annual flooding most other ancient Egyptian settlements suffered. Because of this, the trash sites were not flooded, and instead, the desert sands and winds gradually conspired to cover them up for thousand of years. It is through the preserved and excavated piles of rubbish found today, that many of the papyrus discoveries have been found, as the piles contain a lot of the historically valuable material.
Amelia Fritz Profile
Amelia Fritz answered
This city that was named for a kind of sharp-nosed fish is Oxyrhynchus.

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