A detailed archaeological study of the ancient long distance caravan routes across the Eastern Sahara has not yet been established. This paper describes the results of initial investigations on the identification of caravan traces by remote sensing reconnaissance, and archaeological field surveys west of the Nile. During this work, pottery of an obviously common but at present unknown type of a Late Roman or Coptic transport vessel was found along the ancient roads between the Nile Valley and the Egyptian oases. Moreover, one of the vessels contained an organic substance. Chemical analysis of the content indicates degraded and polymerised fat or oil.
Journal of African Archaeology – Brill
Published: Oct 25, 2005
Keywords: Sahara; Roman; Coptic; Egypt; caravan routes; pottery; oil
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