Wadi Hammamat

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wadi Hammamat


a river bed that ran dry in antiquity; right tributary of the Nile, the shortest route between the region of Thebes and the Red Sea. The region around the Wadi Hammamat was inhabited in the time of the Badarian, Amratian, and Gerzean cultures (fifth to fourth millennium B.C.), when the river was still flowing there. During the golden age of ancient Egypt, caravans were sent through the Wadi Hammamat with gold, copper, tin, and stone mined in the region. Numerous ancient Egyptian inscriptions have been preserved on the cliffs.


Childe, V. Gordon. Drevneishii vostok v svete novykh raskopok. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from English.)
Golenishchev, V. “Epigraficheskie rezul’taty poezdki v Uadi-Khammamat.” In the collection Zapiski Vostochnogo otdeleniia Russkogo arkheologicheskogo obshchestva, vol. 2, issues 1-2. St. Petersburg, 1887.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
on the smooth walls of Wadi Hammamat (Valley of Baths).
Goyon, Nouvelles inscriptions rupestres du Wadi Hammamat (Paris, 1957), 132, pl.
Over the past two years, he and his team have concentrated on an area between the Nile Valley and the Red Sea coast between Wadi Hammamat and Wadi Barramiya, discovering several hundred sites of rock art.
The additional pages including inscriptions from Nubia (i.e., Rock Inscriptions of Lower Nubia), Sinai, Wadi Hammamat, and Middle Kingdom Thebes, although very limited in scope, are a useful compilation.
The standard view was that most of the Near-Eastern goods and influences reached Egypt from Southern Mesopotamia, around Arabia, and via the Red Sea to the land route known as the Wadi Hammamat. This accounted reasonably well for the appearance of artefacts in the southern part of the country, but it left the Delta completely out of the picture.
It should therefore not surprise us to find that most of the major prehistoric centers--especially Maadi, Nagada, and Abydos--were each situated close to a wadi that gave them access to trade routes, which led either northeasterly across the Sinai and thence to Canaan (Maadi), easterly toward the Red Sea via the Wadi Hammamat (Nagada), or southwesterly toward the western desert oases and the regions further south (Abydos).
It is interesting again that the high priest Ramessesnakht was involved in the great quarrying expedition to the Wadi Hammamat under Ramesses IV and in securing gold and galena under Ramesses VII and IX.