Moeris, Lake of

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Moeris, Lake of


(Greek, Moirios or Moiridos limne), the ancient Greek name for a lake in the Fayyum Oasis of the Libyan Desert in Egypt, derived from the ancient Egyptian name Merur (literally, “large canal”). Birkat Qarun is all that remains of the Lake of Moeris.

In the early third millennium B.C., Shedet (ancient Greek Crocodilopolis) was founded on the southeastern shore of the lake. During the Twelfth Dynasty (20th to 18th centuries B.C.), particularly in the reigns of the pharaohs Sesostris II and Amenemhet III, great drainage and irrigation projects were carried out. In antiquity the Lake of Moeris (2,000 sq km) was much larger than the present Birkat Qarun (233 sq km). The lake was described by Herodotus (II, 149).


Ali Shafei Bei. “Fayum Irrigation.” Bulletin de la Société géographique royale d’Egypte, 1940, vol. 20.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.