Ancient bakery discovered in Egyptian Desert

August 26th, 2010 - 1:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Aug 26 (ANI): Archaeologists have found the remains of what appears to be an ancient bakery town that existed in Egypt’s western desert more than 3,500 years ago.

A team of Egyptian and US archaeologists from Yale University made the above discovery during excavation work for the Theban Desert Road Survey, a project to map the ancient desert routes in the Western desert.

About 1 km (0.6 miles) long from north to south and 250 meters (820 feet) wide from east to west, the settlement dates to the Second Intermediate Period (about 1650-1550 B.C.), reports Discovery News.

John Coleman Darnell, who led the Yale mission, said that archaeological evidence indicates that the site was an administrative center along the bustling caravan routes, which connected the Nile Valley and the western oasis with points as far as Darfur in western Sudan.

Indeed, the archaeologists unearthed large mudbrick structures similar to administrative buildings previously found in several sites in the Nile Valley.

But the most interesting features were the remains of a bakery.

Making bread on a massive scale was the main occupation for the majority of the inhabitants, said Zahi Hawass, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The archaeologists unearthed two ovens and a potter’s wheel. This was used to make the ceramic bread moulds in which the bread was baked.

The large debris dumps outside the bakery suggests that the settlement produced bread in such large quantities that it may have even been feeding an army, said Hawass in a statement.

The findings at the El-Kharga Oasis were announced on Wednesday. (ANI)

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