Egypt discovers 3,500-year-old oasis trading post





Egypt's antiquities department announced Wednesday the discovery of a 3,500-year-old settlement in a desert oasis, showing the existence of vibrant desert trade routes that stretched from the Mediterranean down into Sudan from the early days of the Egyptian civilization.

The settlement at Umm el-Mawagir in Egypt's Kharga Oasis, more than 300 miles (500 kilometers) south of Cairo, has been excavated for the past year by a Yale University expedition, whose initial findings suggest it was an administrative post with massive baking facilities, possibly to feed local troops.

"The amount of bread production was pretty amazing," said John Darnell, head of the expedition, citing discoveries of ovens, bread molds and storerooms at the site, far out of proportion to its size.

"It's probably a good bet they were basically baking enough bread to feed an army, literally," he said....


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