The Oases

Authored by: A.J. Mills

The Egyptian World

Print publication date:  September  2007
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415427265
eBook ISBN: 9780203820933
Adobe ISBN: 9781136753770

10.4324/9780203820933.ch4

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Abstract

The Western Desert of Egypt is the area between the Nile and the frontier of Libya, and from the Mediterranean littoral southwards to the Sudan border. It is a vast area, some two-thirds of the land mass of modern Egypt. However, it should be realized that the real Egypt of ancient times was only the Nile Valley and the delta, and the remainder of the area now known as Egypt was ‘foreign’ to the Egyptians. This means that the oases of the Western Desert were not an official part of the Egypt of the Pharaohs, but were somehow apart, a foreign region, although under the control of the central government. Nonetheless, there was a long association between pharaonic Egypt and the western oases, and it is not inappropriate to see the oases as an integral part of Egyptian history.

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