Archaeological Sites 

It’s tempting to pick up a bone or clay pot found at a site as a souvenir. However, not only is it illegal to remove antiquities, but you may be depriving local archaeologists of important evidence. Most of the area has, at the very least, been extensively surveyed and is only waiting for funding to begin excavation. If you do find something, the best thing to do is to leave it alone and notify the Tourist Office. Excavation sites are like crime scenes: often the location and position of an object give valuable information about the site, making the context of the object just as important as the object itself.

 

 



A painting of ancient Shali

Welcome to Siwa
Jebel El Mawta (“Mountain of the Dead”) 
Over 700 rock tombs are carved into this limestone hill, only a fraction of which have been excavated. Looming less than a kilometer north of the marketplace, in ancient times it would have been the main necropolis for the oasis with tombs dating to the Late Egyptian and Greco Roman periods. More recently, its tombs were used by Siwans as bomb shelters during World War II. Soldiers stationed in the oasis during the war also used the tombs, and according to Ahmed Fakhry not only left their graffiti but made off with bits of some of the best paintings. Of the excavated tombs, four remain relatively intact: 

The Tomb of Si-Amun  
Not much is known about Si-Amun, who would have been buried in this beautifully painted tomb. From the tomb’s paintings he appears to have been of Greek descent, having curly black hair, a beard and moustache and fair skin, and to have married an Egyptian. In the scenes that cover the tomb’s western wall, he is variously shown seated in a chair, in judgment before the god Osiris, and swaddled in the bandages of a mummy. The eastern wall portrays Si-Amun worshipping the gods Amun and Osiris. Look for Si-Amun’s oldest son, cloaked in panther skins, and for the red gridlines left by the tomb’s artist. On the ceiling, the goddess Nut reaches across an inky sea of stars and solar boats. Rows of vultures and falcons rim another section of the ceiling.  

The Tomb of Misu-Isis 
The interior of this tomb was never finished. Above the door of the burial chamber are bas relief cobras bearing sun disks; the gods Osiris and Isis frame the doorway. 

The Tomb of Ni-per-pa-thoth

Ni-per-pa-thoth means “The one who belongs to the House of Thoth.” The owner of this 26th Dynasty tomb also bore the title “Prophet of Osiris and Scribe of the Divine Books,” and it is Osiris that we see him worshipping throughout the tomb. In a scene from daily life, he is shown leading four cows. The burial chamber branches off into a series of small halls or chambers 

The Tomb of the Crocodile 
This tomb is named for the yellow crocodile painted on one of its entrance walls. At the back of the tomb are also paintings of blue and yellow foxes. In the painting showing the god Thoth writing, note the live bird tied to the stem of the table.

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Juba Bath (Cleopatra Bath)

Another favourite bathing spot for locals and tourists is Fatnas Island, located on the salt lake of Birket Siwa, surrounded by palm trees and beautiful scenery.

 


Shali today


This site is mantained by
Mohamed Hemeda

 

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Fortress Shali in Siwa Oasis

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