Chapter 11: The Wadi Zemzem
The Wadi Zemzem, some 50-60 km. to the south-east of the Wadi Sofeggin, differs from it in degree rather than in kind. The climatic margin was finer, and settlement may never have been as dense as in the more favoured parts of the Sofeggin valley. Nevertheless, it includes Ghirza, the largest inhabited centre in the whole of the frontier zone; and the location of the majority of the known inscriptions, on the route to and from Ghirza, may well reflect the movements of modern travellers rather than the distribution of ancient settlement.
Near the head of the Wadi, not far from the eastern fringe of the Hamada el-Hamra, is the legionary fortress of Ghériat el-Garbia. This was one of the three outlying posts established by Severus and by his immediate successors to guard the main caravan-routes up from the interior. It marks the extreme southern fringe of an area in which numerous limitane settlements are known to exist. In this area of the Upper Zemzem Neo-Punic texts have been found in mausolea in the Wadi Amud (Neo-Punic 22), but Latin inscriptions have not yet been recorded outside Ghériat el-Garbia.