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'Ain el-Gazzareen


'Ain el-Gazzareen is a large settlement dating to the Sixth Dynasty (about 2,200 BCE) covering some five hectares.

The original settlement was surrounded by a massive mudbrick wall, over three metres thick, 55 x 105m. in extent. This wall, like the rest of the site, has been eroded to the point where it now stands less than a metre high.

Within the wall are many rooms with kilns, hearths, ovens and the like and what is possibly a temple with five rooms, symmetrically arranged.

Plan of excavated area, 'Ain el-Gazzareen

Grain was stored at the site and there are facilities for milling, quantities of bread moulds and a considerable amount of ash from open fires, all suggestive of large-scale bread-making.

Storage jars in situ in a room of the bakery, 'Ain el-Gazzareen

This, along with the presence of many bones of domesticated animals and a nearby well, suggests an extensive victualling facility, acting as a final departure point for overland caravans going westward away from Egypt, perhaps to Kufra or the Lake Chad area for trading.

Eastern enclosure wall, 'Ain el-Gazzareen

 
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