The Red Land: The Illustrated Archaeology of Egypt's Eastern Desert

Front Cover
American Univ in Cairo Press, 2008 - Travel - 424 pages
For thousands of years Egypt has crowded the Nile Valley and Delta. The Eastern Desert, however, has also played a crucial-though until now little understood-role in Egyptian history. Ancient inhabitants of the Nile Valley feared the desert, which they referred to as the Red Land, and were reluctant to venture there, yet they exploited the extensive mineral wealth of this region. They also profited from the valuable wares conveyed across the desert between the Nile and the Red Sea ports, which originated from Arabia, Africa, India, and elsewhere in the east.
Based on twenty years of archaeological fieldwork conducted in the Eastern Desert, The Red Land reveals the cultural and historical richness of this little known and seldom visited area of Egypt. A range of important archaeological sites dating from Prehistoric to Byzantine times is explored here in text and illustrations. Among these ancient treasures are petroglyphs, cemeteries, fortified wells, gold and emerald mines, hard stone quarries, roads, forts, ports, and temples. With 250 photographs and fascinating artistic reconstructions based on the evidence on the ground, along with the latest research and accounts from ancient sources and modern travelers, the authors lead the reader into the remotest corners of the hauntingly beautiful Eastern Desert to discover the full story of the area's human history.
 

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Contents

Geography Climate and People
21
A Roman Imperial Road and the Northern Part
37
How the Stone
61
The Joys and Sorrows of the Desert Survey
95
The Temples and Shrines of the Eastern Desert
111
International Trade
151
Other Ptolemaic Red Sea Ports
167
Burying the Dead in the Eastern Desert
197
Living in the Desert
227
The Maaza Ababda and Bisharin Bedouin
257
Emerald and Amethyst Mines
277
Water The Desert Elixir
303
The Roads from Berenike to the Nile
329
The Southernmost Sites
345
Suggestions for Further Reading
377
Index
417

Gold Mines in the Eastern Desert
213

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About the author (2008)


Steven E. Sidebotham is professor of classical archaeology and ancient history at the University of Delaware.
Martin Hense has been a freelance artist and archaeologist specializing in ancient metalwork on excavations in Syria and Egypt since 1994.
Hendrikje M. Nouwens is an independent Egyptologist and archaeologist based in the Netherlands.

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