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Its distinctive geological features represent the natural habitat of a variety of desert flora and fauna.
Located away from the busy Nile Valley, this area has been progressively discovered in the last century, starting with the Geological Survey of Egypt and thanks to the pioneering work of the Egyptian Egyptologist A. An acceleration of scientific research in the last 15 years yielded extremely important results that represent the foundations of this document.
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The Persian Period is well represented by the earliest core of the Hibis Temple, later enlarged by the Ptolemies and the Romans.
Recently restored and re-open to the public and thoroughly studied over the years, the Hibis Temple demonstrates the interest of the Persian rulers for this Oasis, also mirrored by the contemporary exploitation of the agricultural areas of al-Deir in the north and Dush in the south.
Their distribution reflects the environmental changes that occurred around 10-12,000 years BP: Palaeolithic sites were located at the edges of the oasis, around a large lake (see below criterion viii) that covered most of the depression.
The second contains a spectacular flower-shaped pigeon tower, for which no parallel has been documented in the entire Western Desert.
On a trans-regional scale, Kharga’s strategic position was appreciated since Old Kingdom: the ‘Oasis Route’, mentioned by the officer Harkhuf to bypass a problematic portion of the Nile Valley, indicates that a network of desert tracks (most probably including the small southern Oases of Nabta Playa, Kurkur and Dungul, sites b and c) was already in use at that time as an alternative to the Valley.
Old Kingdom Kings, moreover, extended their influence from Kharga to Dakhla and beyond towards the area of Gilf al-Kebir and Uweinat, as is demonstrated by the recent discovery of the name of a previously unknown Predynastic king along the route connecting Kharga and Dakhla, and of the chain of Pharaonic water stations departing from the nearby Dakhla Oasis and heading to the Gilf via Abu Ballas.
On a regional scale, the archaeological evidence for the Pharaonic period is very uneven, but all the surviving fragments are extremely interesting, speak of intensive activities across the desert and suggest that future research may yield important results.
In particular, recent investigation in the area of Qasr al-Ghweita retrieved evidence of agricultural activities dating to the New Kingdom, possibly relating to the production of the wine that Kharga is known to have exported in that period.The large New Kingdom temples possessed estates in the western Oases, as confirmed by a recently discovered petroglyph, thus indicating the existence of economic interest at a macro-regional scale.