In ancient times, this was a major communication artery for caravan trade between Egypt and points to the east. The Canal of the Pharaohs was built there. A little water still flows along the wadi.
The Arabic name 'Wadi Tumilat' is believed to reflect the existence in the area, in ancient times, of an important temple of the god Atum (Old Egyptian pr-itm, 'House of Atum', changed over time into 'Tumilat', as well as into 'Pithom').
Necho II (610-595 BC) initiated--but may have never completed--the ambitious project of cutting a navigable canal from the Pelusiac branch of the Nile to the Red Sea. Necho's Canal was the earliest precursor of the Suez Canal, and it went through Wadi Tumilat. It was in connection with a new activity that Necho founded a new city of Per-Temu Tjeku which translates as 'The House of Atum of Tjeku' at Tell el-Maskhuta.
^Redmount, Carol A. "The Wadi Tumilat and the "Canal of the Pharaohs"" Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 54, No. 2 (April , 1995), pp. 127-135
^Shaw, Ian; and Nicholson, Paul. The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. The British Museum Press, 1995. p.201
^Cuno, M., Kenneth (1980): The Origins of Private Ownership of Land in Egypt: A Reappraisal. Cambridge University Press, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Nov., 1980), pp.245-275
^Owen, E.R.J. (1969): Cotton and the Egyptian Economy, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1969
Jacques-Marie Le Père: Mémoire sur la communication de la mer des Indes à la Méditerranée par la mer Rouge et l'Isthme de Sueys. In Description de l'Égypte, État moderne I. Imprimerie Impériale, Paris 1809, S. 21 - 186, (in Volume 11, État Moderne, 2. Auflage, Digitalisat auf Google Bücher).