Prehistoric Dakhleh

(400,000 – 5,000 years ago)

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.

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.

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