/ / Wadi Hammamat

Wadi Hammamat

Wadi Hammamat is one of several dry riverbeds in the desert of Egypt and the modern road that leads to the shore of the red sea. The route was used for millennia as a trade route from the sea to the Nile, but the area was also known for its quarries and gold mines. Hundreds of ancient ruins located on the line of the route; remains of watchtowers, FORTS, water tanks and mines of different historical periods testify to the ancient mining activities.

The famous ancient dry riverbed made discoveries of many characters and graffiti on the rocks. In these inscriptions and the paintings recorded the activity of different expeditions for valuable resources. There are artifacts proving that in the desert lived the prehistoric humans and nomads, who left the rude rocks petroglyphs in the form of a curved reed boats, hunting scenes and long extinct animals. This route through the Eastern mountains of the desert were used by explorers and expeditions, starting from the old Kingdom to Roman times, when the quarries and gold mines were exploited the most. The Romans built stone towers on the peaks of hills for the protection of roads and wells. The territory is the Wadi Hammamat rich Sandstone, greywacke and shale rocks, appreciated for their variety of colors, from dark basalt to red, pink and green slabs used to decorate the statues, sarcophagi and small shrines.

Here was found an ancient document is a papyrus which is the oldest geologic and topographic map of Egypt. It was compiled during an expedition of Rameses IV. The map describes an individual section of the route through the Wadi and celebrates significant places such as the hills, quarries and mines.

In his career, Bechan on the North side of the road remains of workers huts from the dark slate stone located on the leeward side. Everywhere visible traces of the development, and halfway to the top of the cliff there is an abandoned sarcophagus, which split during quarrying. On the South side of the road the cliffs are dotted with inscriptions left by members of the expedition of Pharaoh.

The road to Wadi Hammamat goes through the desert and rocks, down in a gorge between high, dark jagged mountains, so it's best to book a tour with a guide. On video , photography and stop near graffiti requires a special permit.