The Bahariya Oasis is 370 km north of the capital Cairo, it is 94 km long and 40 km wide and covers an area of 2000 km². in the heart of the oasis is the capital Bawiti. The Oasis is surrounded by various numbers of huge mountains like Ghurabi, Maghrafa, and Dist, and tourism and iron ore mining are the main economic sectors. Life is able to find the way as it produces agricultural products like guavas, mangos, olives, and dates. In the northernmost point of the oasis in the small lake of Al Martin. There is also a number of natural hot springs in the north of the oasis. The Oasis holds a museum that contains a number of native art. It contains a number of massive mountains like Gebel Maghrafa, Gebel Ghurabi, Gebel Dist also known as the English Mountain.
The name Bahariya was known to be derived from the word "Bahr", which means in Arabic the "Sea".The word refers to the Mediterranean Sea and the Northern lands of Egypt in ancient times. The Pharos named the Bahareya Oasis "Desdes" while the Romans named Bahariya "Parva" or the little oasis.
The Bahareya Oasis is known to be the home of more than thirty thousand people who primarily live in the four main towns of the oasis which include Bawiti the capital and the center point of the Bahareya Oasis, Al Qaser which is the ancient village in the Bahareya Oasis, Mandisha, and Zabw.
The area between the towns Bawiti and Al Qaser contains a number of mountains with many ancient necropolises like the Necropolis of Qarat Subi and the Abis necropolis of Qarat Feragi.
The Bahariya Oasis has many hot springs, like Ain Bishmu, which dates back to Roman times, Bir Al Nebaga which is located in Bawiti, and Bir Matar which is located further to the North. At the Northernmost point of the Bahareya Oasis, is the small lake of Al Marun surrounded by spots filled d with many rare birds.
Bahariya Oasis's history dates back to the time of the ancient Egyptian and Egypt middle kingdom (1975 BC-1640 BC) which the first human settlement was established. During the 18th dynasty, the Oasis had political importance due to its incredible location on the track of the trading caravans between the western desert, the tribes of Libya, and the Nile valley. In the 26th dynasty, the oasis became the center of the trading routes of the western desert. In the Greco-roman period (332 BC-395 AD) the Bahareya Oasis became the producer of great products like wine, olive oils, dates, and cereals.
A number of ancient Egyptian artifacts, monuments, and mummies were discovered in 1999 in the most important burial site for Romans in the history of Egypt. The Numbers of tombs is estimated to be between 5,000 - 10,000 mummies across four-mile desert lands. Hundreds of tombs were found in the necropolis on a surface area of 36 square km containing perfectly preserved mummies covered with a mask made of linen and plaster. depict lifelike faces of real people, rather than stereotypical images. They were found in four tombs in the town of Bawiti in Bahariya Oasis.
What makes these mummies unique is that they merge the traditional ancient Egyptian pharaonic shapes with colors associates with Roman mythology.
One of the most famous sites is the temple and chapels of Ain El Muftella which are the tombs of the 26th dynasty including Pharaoh Amasis (570 BC-526 BC). There are also the tombs of Zed Amun Ef Ankh which contain the rich decorations and ornaments with religious scenes of mortuary rituals and offerings. The most beautiful Necropolis in the Oasis is the Muzzawaqa that holds 300 tombs heavily decorated and perfectly preserved, containing the main themes of giving offerings to the dead person, and the procession of the funeral in a Greco- roman artistic style. The Museum of Al Bahareya which was built in 2005 is located in the center of the Oasis filled with the works of the oasis's local artists.
The natural beauty of Egypt knows no bounds, discover all the incredible destination of this majestic location and explore some of its incomparable artifacts.
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