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At Empire's EdgeExploring Rome`s Egyptian Frontier$
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Robert B. Jackson

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780300088564

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300088564.001.0001

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The Small Oasis

The Small Oasis

(p.229) IX The Small Oasis
At Empire's Edge

Robert B. Jackson

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the Small Oasis, a single region constituted by the two modern oases of Farafra and Bahariya. Farafra's ancient history is still somewhat of a mystery. Although archaeologists have yet to discover any artifacts dating from the Pharaonic period in the oasis, several ancient texts record that Farafra's inhabitants maintained at least limited commercial relations with neighboring oases and the Nile Valley as far back as the Fifth dynasty. In addition to the Darb el-Farafra, which joins Farafra with Dakhleh Oasis to the south, other routes connect Farafra with Bahariya, Siwa, Assiut, and Libya. In addition to the caravan route connecting Bahariya with Farafra, three other important routes entered the oasis, from the Nile Valley, the Fayoum, and Siwa Oasis. Although scholars have not surveyed these routes carefully, there is little doubt that all were closely guarded and patrolled, especially during the late Roman period.

Keywords:   Small Oasis, Farafra, Bahariya, Pharaonic period, Nile Valley, Roman period

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