Bahariya Oasis (الواحات البحرية)

Bahariya Oasis

Location: Antiquities InspectorateMap

Open: 8:30am- 4pm

Admission cost: 30 euros for admission to 6 sites


Description of Bahariya Oasis

Bahariya Oasis is located near Cairo. It is also known after a small village of Bawiti where most of buses will take you. Black desert that surrounds Bahariya Oasis once was a home for a largest land carnivore spinosaurus. Wahati that live here derive their name from an Arab word that means "oasis". They are predominantly Muslims and minarets define the landscape in the area around Bahariya Oasis. A temple in Bahariya Oasis was dedicated to Alexander the Great commemorating the conqueror who is said to pass the oasis on his way to oracle of Ammun during his conquest. Besides a huge cache of Greco- Roman mummies are found here.


The Baharia oasis consists of several villages, the largest of which (the administrative center of the district) is called Baviti. In the neighborhood is the village of Qasr. To the east, about ten kilometers, lie the villages of Mandishah and Ez-Zabu, between which the small village of Aguz is located. A few kilometers to the east is the easternmost village, Harra. The last village is called Khiyaz, but it is not considered by all to be part of Baharia, as it is too remote from all other villages, about 50 km south of Baviti.

The population of the oasis, or Wahati people (from the Arabic word waha, that is, an oasis), are the descendants of the ancient people who inhabited the oasis, the Bedouin tribes from Libya and the northern coast, as well as other peoples of the Nile Valley, who settled in the oasis.

Most Wahati people are Muslims. There are many mosques in Baharia. The social structure in the oasis is strongly influenced by Islam.

Traditional music is very important for wahati. At public gatherings, especially at weddings, they play music with the help of flutes, drums and simsimia (an instrument like a harp). Traditional rural songs are passed down from generation to generation, and new songs are composed. Contemporary Arabic music is also popular in the oasis.

The ruins of the temple of Alexander the Great remained in Baharia. Some archaeologists believe that the commander passed through Baharia, returning from the oracle of Amun from the oasis of Siwa. In 1996, excavations of the Greco-Roman necropolis, known as the Valley of the Golden Mummies, began. About 34 tombs of that era were excavated.

In the ancient rocks of the oasis, scientists discovered the remains of skeletons of a carcharodontosaurus, bachariasaurus and dentosuchus dating back about 95 million years ago.