"Bahariya Oasis" Bawiti by sachara
Bawiti Travel Guide: 48 reviews and 111 photos
When you visit the oases of the Western Desert, is the Bahariya Oasis, 330 KM south-west of Cairo, the first one you reach, if you approach by tarred road from Cairo.
Bawiti with 30.000 inhabitants is the main village of the oasis. There are some more smaller villages.
We visited Bahariya for the first time in 1999 as part of our trip to the oases of Bahariya, Farafra, Dahkla and El Kharga.
In 2000 we came back after a visit to the Siwa Oasis in the far west.
A lot has changed since in one year, because of the discovery of many mummies near the Bahariya Oasis and the first publications of the archaeologists in the end of 1999.
It was allready possible to bring a visit to a -just two months before opened- house, provisional fitted up to a museum. And here we saw the higlight of our trip: four of the first excaved mummies with beautifull gilded masks.
The archaeologists wrote, the discovered 2000-year -old cemetery is the most spectacular discovery in Egypt in recent decades.
In publications the director of the Bahariya Excavations, Zahi Hawass, said that never before so many mummies are found in one single site in Egypt. In the first four tombs so far explored, they counted 105 mummies of men, women and children. Some bodies were wrapped in plain linen and papyrus, but many were decorated with gilded masks and painted scenes on cartonage. Not two mummy decorations were alike.
Mr. Hawass said that the cemetery site included many more multichambered tombs. He estimated that as many as 10.000 mummies might be uncovered at what is being called the Valley of the Golden Mummies.
We visited this valley on our way to the White Desert, an unnotable spot along the road. We were not allowed to go in, because the director was not around. We saw at some distance the holes of some excaved tombs. It's impossible to imagine what's under the ground.
Three years before came the cemetary by accident to light. A donkey stumbled on a dusty road and its leg slipped into an opening to one of the many tombs buried under sand and rock.
What a story!
In 2000 we were invited by our driver to his house and famliy in Bawiti to have a lunch.
Twelve of his brothers and nephews worked for Diaa's travel organisation from Cairo, we trravelled with.
The oasis is very scenic, but if you go around take enough water and take something with you for your head against the... more travel advice
On your way from Bawiti to the White Desert look out for these rocks at the left side of the road. You find here... more travel advice
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