(or Illahun; ancient Egyptian, Hethotep-Senusert), a city dating from the 20th-19th century B.c., located near the pyramid of Sesostris II (Senusert II) and the Faiyum (Fayyum) Oasis in Egypt.
The city was built according to a common plan. It existed for about 100 years, whereupon it was abandoned and became buried by sand. Kahun was excavated in 1888–90 by the British archaeologist W. Flinders Petrie. The ruins of the buildings and fortifications were investigated, and the city’s plan was traced out. Brick walls surrounded Kahun and divided it into two parts. Located in the eastern part was the palace complex (surrounded by a separate wall; certain chambers had columns and wall paintings) and the houses of the nobility. Situated in the western part were small houses (made of mud brick), which belonged to the artisans. The population was engaged in farming and handicraft production (pottery-making, weaving). Bronze and flint implements were discovered as well as pottery and a considerable number of papyri containing private correspondence and medical and other information.