The Bulletin de la Societe Royale de Geographie D'Egypte, 1936 edition, contains an article in English about P.A. Clayton's "South-Western Desert Survey Expedition 1930-1931." Clayton spent 172 days in the field, surveying previously unknown areas, and successfully mapped (with contours) 10,920 square kilometers. Several passages from the article are quoted below.
Clayton's mode of transportation was the automobile. This was a vast improvement over A. M. Bey's survey of about 8 years earlier, which used camels.
One of the successes of Clayton's expedition was to demonstrate the existence of a route from Kharga to Asyut that could be travelled by autos and trucks.
"Huge mounds of dry tarfa roots and sand, usually capped by quite a small shrub of green tarfa, ocur in the low-lying areas, and provide useful fuel."
"There are no resident or even nomadic Arabs in the whole district bounded by a line joining the Nile at Wadi-Halfa, Uweinat, Dakhla, and the south end of the Kharga Oasis, and the country is too barren to support life."
"Arabs from Kufra have accomplished the journey from 'Uweinat to Kakhla along the Prince's car-tracks, but in every case they underwent severe privations, and in some cases large numbers of them died. It represents about the limit of endurance for the best camels, well led."
Figures 7 and 8 shows scenes at Uweinat, the probable location of the Cave of Swimmers. "'Uweinat, after its discovery by Sir Ahmed Hassanein Bey in 1923, was visited and explored by H.H. Prince Kemal el Dine Hussein on his 1925 and 1926 expeditions. In 1925 he was accompanied by Dr. Ball, of the Survey of Egypt, who...determined by modern astronomical methods the...important features of 'Uweinat. In 1926 Prince Kemal el Dine had the Uweinat massif mapped in detail, as well as his route to and from Dakhla."
"A few members of the Goran tribe sometimes live at 'Uweinat, headed by an old man of the name of Herri. Their chief sources of water are in Sudanese territory, but they are occasionally to be found in the north-east and north-west portions of the mountains, lying respectively in Egyptian and Italian territory...they do not live in tents, but build primitive little oval huts with sticks fixed in the ground, roof and sides being protected with matting and dried grass."
The shape of this peak might remind you of the mountain near the base camp in The English Patient. The movie was filmed in Tripoli.
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