News FocusAmerican Schools Of Oriental Research Annual Meeting

Keeping Watch as the Old Kingdom Crumbled

Science  10 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6010, pp. 1473
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6010.1473

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With walls 7 meters thick and 4 meters high, the round stone fort was a potent symbol of ancient Egypt's power, more than 250 kilometers from its Nile Valley heartland. And, so far, the building is unique. But the structure at Ras Budran on the southern Sinai Peninsula also hints at the precariousness of Egypt's Old Kingdom, suggesting an increasingly desperate trading and military strategy in the waning days of the 22nd century B.C.E., an excavator reported at the meeting.