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The Eastern Desert

The Eastern Desert is located southeast of the Nile River delta east of Egypt, which is also called the 'Arabian Desert'. It extends south-eastwards into north-eastern Sudan and from the Nile River valley eastwards to the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea, covering an area of about 85,690 square miles, which is about twenty-one percent of Egypt's surface area.

The Eastern Desert is famous for its volcanic-rock mountains that run along the Red sea Coast , which have been formed about three billion years ago. Its northern section is nearly devoid of vegetation because of the arid climate, as for its southern section there is higher humidity and more trees and shrubs are found in some of the desert valleys.

Drawings and carvings in the Eastern Desert date back as early as the Naqada I period, which depict the Nile Valley and desert fauna, elephant, giraffe, rhinoceros, ostrich and some people. Also, there are depictions of native desert wildlife like the ibex, gazelle and antelope.

There are more recent monuments such as St. Antony's and St. Paul's Monasteries . As for St. Antony's Monastery , it is the world's oldest functioning monastery founded in honour of Saint Anthony who was given credit for founding monasticism. Many parts of this monastery has recently been restored.

One of the famous quarries in the Eastern Desert is the quarry of Mons Claudianus which dates back to the Roman Era.

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