Wadi Hammamat is one of a great number of dry river beds that wind through the rugged mountains of Egypt’s Eastern Desert and the modern road that runs through it connects Qift (Greek Coptos) to the port of Qusieir on the Red Sea. The route was used for millennia as a trade route from the Coast to the Nile, but the area was also famed for its quarries and gold mines. Scores of ancient ruins line the route; remains of watchtowers, forts, wells and mines from various periods show much evidence of ancient quarrying and mining activity. The wadi is perhaps best known however, for its hundreds of hieroglyphic and hieratic rock inscriptions which record the activities of expeditions sent by many kings to obtain the precious resources of bekhen-stone which were used for small-scale building projects, sarcophagi, statues and vessels during the Pharaonic Period.
Source: Wadi Hammamat