Wadi Halfa

Wadi Halfa wä´dē hăl´fə [key], town, N Sudan, on Lake Nubia (Lake Nasser). It is the terminus of a railroad from Khartoum and is the point at which cotton, wheat, livestock, and other goods are transferred to steamers going down the Nile into Egypt. Archaeological expeditions have worked to excavate and preserve the area's numerous Egyptian antiquities, which faced flooding from the reservoir of the Aswan High Dam.

Founded in the 19th cent., Wadi Halfa became (1885–98) the headquarters of the Anglo-Egyptian army as it prepared to reconquer Sudanese territory from the Mahdi. The railroad up the Nile to Wadi Halfa was built to support Lord Kitchener's forces during the reconquest. During World War II, the town served as a staging post on the Allied communication line with Egypt via central Africa.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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