Baharyia is one of the more fetching of the desert circuit oases. Surrounded on all sides by towering ridges, much of the osais floor is covered by verdant plantations of date palms and pockmarked with dozens of refreshing springs.During the Pharaonic era, the oasis was the center agriculture, producing wine sold in the Nile valley as far away as Rome . In recent years, stunning archaeological finds, such as the Golden Mummies, have been made.
Baharia located 365 km south west of Giza. The oases are famous for their palm trees, olives, apricots, corn and rice. Interwined trees provide attractive scenery with contrast to massive sand dunes. The region is rich in wildlife of migrant birds and deer. Bawiti is the capital of Baharia Oases that occupies a hillside. The oases are famous for 398 mineral and sulphur sprrigs, the most famous are Bir Hakima, Bir Halfa, Bir AI Matar, and Bir El Ghaba.
Bahariya Oasis, which was inhabited in ancient times well beyond its present borders, is now host to several archaeological sites that are scattered throughout the surrounding desert in various stages of restoration. Among these are a few new sites only recently opened for public viewing and exploration; some are only part of an extended complex of monuments where excavation has not yet begun or is just beginning.
The first monument is the oldest structure yet found in Bayariyya, dating to about 1295 BC; the next group of three — two tombs and a temple — date to the Twenty-sixth Dynasty, and the fifth monument is a Greek temple to Alexander the Great, the only one of its kind in Egypt.
Bayariyya enjoyed a resurgence of power and prosperity in the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. To date, Zahi Hawass has reopened three tombs that reflect the wealth of this era. The pharaohs and local leaders for whom these monuments were so reverently constructed represent some of the last of the native Egyptian rulers.
Alexander’s temple consists of two chambers built of sandstone, a common construction material in Bahariya. An enclosure wall surrounds the temple
, and behind it the priests built their homes. To the east of the temple, the administrator of the temple constructed his home, and in front of the temple were built forty-five storerooms of mud-brick. The temple’s entrance and stone gateway opens to the south, and a granite altar about 1.09m in height was erected to the south of the entrance. The altar, inscribed with the name of Alexander the Great, has been removed and placed in the Cairo Museum.
The Valley of the Golden Mummies is a huge burial site at Bahariya Oasis in the Western Desert of Egypt, discovered by Dr. Zahi Hawass in 1996. Hawass and found around 250 mummies over several seasons; however, the site has more than this number – according to the excavator even more than 10,000 ,many of them beautifully gilded. These mummies, many sumptuously decorated with religious scenes, represent the very best of Roman-Period mummies ever found in Egypt. The site dates to Greco-Roman Egypt where the ruin of a temple to Alexander the Great can be found. It is believed by some Egyptologists that the Greek conqueror passed through Bahariya while returning from the oracle of Ammon at Siwa Oasis.