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Life in an Oasis 1


ALTHOUGH the oases of the Libyan Desert have been frequently visited by travellers—Poncet in the seventeenth century, Browne in the eighteenth century, and Cailliaud, Drovetti, Edmonstone, Hoskins, Rohlfs, Zittel, Schweinfurth, Brugsch, and others in the nineteenth century—yet none of these authors enjoyed anything like the opportunities for the study of these remarkable districts which have fallen to the lot of the writer of the work before us. For nine years Mr. Beadnell, as a member of that active body the Egyptian Geological Survey, was engaged in the study of the Libyan Desert—including the four oases of Baharia, Farafra, Dakhla, and Kharga—while during the last three years, as director of the operations of a development company, he has resided in the last mentioned, and has carried out important observations and experiments in connection with, the questions of water supply, the effects of moving masses of sand in increasing the fertility of some areas, while overwhelming and destroying others, as well as of many other problems of great historical and antiquarian interest.

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