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Bahariya or Baharia (bä´härē´ə), oasis (1996 est. pop. 25,000), in the Libyan Desert, central Egypt, c.200 mi (322 km) south-southwest of Alexandria. Connected by numerous caravan routes with the Mediterranean coast, the Nile valley, and Farafra oasis, it lies in a basin c.60 mi (97 km) long and 25 mi (40 km) wide, and is surrounded by hills. El Bawiti is the main village. Dates, olives, apricots, oranges, grapes, wheat, and rice are grown; iron ore mined in the oasis has been the main source of the Egyptian iron and steel industry centered in Helwan since the mid-1970s. In 1999 a spectacular 2,000-year-old Greco-Roman cemetery with perhaps thousands of mummies was discovered in a 2 sq mi (5 sq km) area within the oasis. Many of these were bedecked with precious metal and the site is now known as the Valley of the Golden Mummies. Dinosaur remains have also been found there.

See Z. A. Hawass, Valley of the Golden Mummies (2000).

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A group of Egyptian oases in the Western Desert, located about 217 miles (350 km) southwest of Alexandria.

These oases in Egypt's Matruh governorate were known in the early history of Islam for their excellent dates and raisins. Cereals, rice, sugarcane, and indigo were also grown there. The fertility of the oases is due to hot springs containing various chemicals. Roman temples and Coptic (Christian) churches were built in the oases, and their ancient population probably exceeded today's estimated six thousand.


Fakhry, Ahmed. The Oases of Egypt. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 1974.

Arthur Goldschmidt