Abstract and Keywords
The Western Oases formed part of the Egyptian cultural realm from the time of the early Old Kingdom. The large oases of Bahariya, Dakhla, and Kharga are known to have had a continuous occupation and intensive contacts with the Nile Valley throughout their history. The Roman period is of special significance in the history of the oases because it was the time of their greatest agricultural expansion and biggest population increase until modern times. Their economic importance was based on the production of olives, olive oil, wine, and dates, and on the exploitation of natural resources such as alum, salt, and ochre. This article discusses the geography, archaeology, and cultural idiosyncrasies of the Western Oases.
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