'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,
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