The bulk of the field work of the prehistorians takes
place outside the modern oasis area, in the region that was
in past times still green.
They deal with all the human activity prior to the coming
of the Egyptians in the second millennium. As the wind erosion
in the oasis is intense most of the archaeological activity
is limited to surface collecting.
|The evidence shows that there has never
been a time since the late Middle Pleistocene, some 500,000
years ago, when environmental conditions have prevented
man from using the oasis. In the geological strata from
this period are the fossil remains of various animals
and stone tools indicating human presence.
Excavators working at
an early Holocene settlement of over 200 hut circles
During the Holocene (10,000 - 5,000 years ago) as the climate
became increasingly arid, the animal species of the typical
savannah fauna changed to those presently living in the oasis.
Man also changed from hunter/pastoralist to pastoralist/farmer
as he was obliged to live near permanent water sources.
Often these Neolithic people developed features which only
later occurred in the Nile Valley.