All Cities - Dush

The wealthy slave metropolis

Few of Egypt's sights are more remote than Dush, 125 km south of Kharga, deep into Sahara. The ruins of this ancient city overlooks a valley that was fertile some 1,500 years ago. Today only a tiny little village remains. But trunks of palms dot the sand in all directions.

The ancient name was Kysis, and Kysis was a wealthy city benefiting from slave trade between Sudan and North Africa. Its wealth is easy to spot. The city must have housed 10,000 inhabitants, the distance between the 1st century CE Roman temple and the later Christian basilica is a few hundred meters, an area packed with house ruins.



The slaves transported through the desert, along the Forty Days Road were mainly blacks, often Nubians. Slaves were highly treasured, and the most valuable were young Nubian women. They were said to have a cool skin no matter what the heat.



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