Djedefre's Water Mountain
The Old Kingdom pharoah Djedefre succeeded Khufu, who built the Great Pyramid on the Giza plateau. Not much is known about Djedefre, who chose to build his pyramid at Abu Roach, about 50km to the North of Giza and the most Northerly of all the pyramids - what is left of it. However, the Old Kingdom period seems to have been a time of determined penetration into the Western Desert and to this end, a series of water depots stretching from Dakhla Oasis some 400km to the South West down to the Gilf Kebir. Whilst this trail of water depots was suspected since one of them, Abu Ballas, had been discovered in 1917, it is only in the last few years that the intrepid Austrian explorer, Carlo Bergmann, discovered most of the other depots. For many years, Carlo Bergmann has spent the winter months out in the desert with his two camels, seeking out the old donkey trails (no camels in Egypt for another two millenia after the Old Kingdom period) that can still be seen from those times - by those with the patience to seek them out.

In the course of his investigations, Carlo Bergmann also came upon a large depot, that seems to have served as the base for expeditions sent out to quarry pigments to paint the huge buildings being erected at that time. An inscription at this particular depot identified it with Djedefre, and his father Khufu, and so Bergmann called the place Djedefre's Water Mountain. Bergmann's website has a full description of the site. Djedefre's Water Mountain is quite difficult to get to, so we are reserving our visit here for the end of the trip, when the cars will not be heavy with fuel and water. I have never been there, so I have no photographs to put here I am afraid, but our tour guide Khaled Makram has been here several times, so he knows the way!

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