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Egypt discovers ancient settlement in Western Desert

08-26-2010 09:50 BJT

CAIRO, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni announced Wednesday of discovering the remains of a substantial settlement dating back to more than 3,500 years ago at the Umm El-Mawagir area in southwest Egypt's Kharga Oasis.

The discovered city, whose peak was in the Second Intermediate Period (1650-1550 BC), was 1,000 years earlier than the major surviving ancient remains at the Umm El-Mawagir area.

The settlement, 1,000 meters long and 250 meters wide, lies along the bustling caravan routes connecting the Nile Valley of Egypt and the western oasis. The archaeological evidence at the site indicated that its inhabitants belonged to an administrative center and were engaged in massive-scale baking, said Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).

Excavators found the remains of large governmental mud brick structures. Part of an ancient bakery was also found with two ovens and a potter's wheel, experts said.

According to the early studies, the settlement began during the Middle Kingdom (2134-1569 BC) till the beginning of the New Kingdom (1569-1081 BC).

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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