Valley of the Golden Mummies – An Ancient Home of the Dead
Valley of the Golden Mummies is a vast “Roman Egypt” necropolis recently discovered in the Bahariya Oasis, some 230 miles southwest of Cairo. Teams of archaeologists who were excavating the tombs have estimated that the site could contain as many as 10,000 mummies, thereby making it one of the biggest discoveries ever made in Egypt.
The discovery of the Greco-Roman era mummies is a very important archeological find and has been noted with a museum that is open to the public. The Golden Mummies Museum does not exactly look like anything striking from the outside, but it is what the museum houses that is most important.
Making the Most of theMuseum
When you visit the Museum, you will get to see ten of the mummies that were found in the adjacent Valley of the Golden Mummies.
A few of the important things to note about the mummies would be that two of them are children, they include painted faces that are still intact, and they often include Greek characters painted on them, which dates them specifically. This shows that there were Greeks living in the area and during the Hellenic era.
When you visit the Valley of the Golden Mummies, the best way to enjoy it would be to pay for a combined visit to the museum as well as to the burial plain where the mummies were found. If you take a private Egypt desert tour or trek, your tour guide will be a local Bedouin who can explain everything to you in English. Additionally, choosing a tour guide will make it easier for you to find the two sites, which are a bit off the beaten path.
The Name of the Mummies
One interesting note would be the name of the mummies. They are collectively referred to as the Golden Mummies since many of them are housed in gilded sarcophagi, giving them a very distinctive look. The excavation at the Valley of the Golden Mummies has been stopped because too many of the mummies and too much of the surrounding structure was being destroyed. Visiting the museum may be your only chance to see these mummies, which are extremely significant in Egyptian history.
Taking Pictures is Not Allowed
One important note to make is that you are not allowed to take pictures in the museum. The flash from cameras can actually deteriorate the delicate painting that adorns the sarcophagi and mummies. Please respect these historical finds by leaving your camera turned off.
The Bahariya Oasis is located in the Western Desert of Egypt and is the closest of the Oases to the city of Cairo. If you wish to visit the other oases in the area, then this one is a good place to start since the others can easily be reached from here. Many Egypt desert tours will include a visit to this oasis and the Valley of the Golden Mummies, but it is nonetheless recommended that you check the itinerary of tours before making any booking.
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