From Yahoo!news comes this article Egypt discovers 3,500-year-old oasis trading post:
CAIRO – Egypt's antiquities department announced Wednesday the discovery of a 3,500-year-old settlement in a desert oasis, showing the existence of vibrant desert trade routes that stretched from the Mediterranean down into Sudan from the early days of the Egyptian civilization.and
The ancient routes stretched from the Darfur region in Sudan through the oases and the Nile Valley up to the ancient Palestine and Syria, with long caravans of donkeys bringing wines, luxury goods and wealth along with them. It would at least be 1,000 years before the camel made its appearance.Globalisation has been with us for a very long time.
"The oases were large well watered nodes along major Egyptian caravan routes that had traffic coming in from all over the known world," said Darnell, contrasting their importance in antiquity to their relative isolation in modern times.
"2,000 years ago these (oases) were major trade emporia where you would have been passed everyday by caravans bringing in much more exotic material than you could find in Kharga Oasis today," he added.