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Gebel al-Mawta, Siwa Oasis
Fast Facts

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ADDRESS
Siwa Oasis 11211
Matruh, Egypt
ACTIVITIES
Ancient Ruins
 
 
More about Siwa Oasis
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Western Desert, Egypt

 

Photo by Elizabeth LoCicero

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Gebel al-Mawta or Mountain of the Dead is neither ghoulish nor ghastly yet a tour of this ancient necropolis is likely to appeal to teen and tween's with a fascination for all things macabre. Even if bones no longer litter this honeycombed hill. The rock-cut tombs found here date from the 26th dynasty (roughly 6000 BC) through the end of the Roman era and all bear resemblance to ancient Egyptian burial practices. To date, there is no evidence that Christianity ever reached this outpost. Of significance are the Tomb of Niperpathot, Tomb of the Crocodile, Unfinished Tomb of Mesu-Isis and Tomb of Si-Amun for their magnificent and well-preserved wall paintings. One final note, Siwans took refuge in the tombs at various points in history and, today, avoid it after dark. Gebel al-Mawta is rumored to be haunted.
Getting There
 
Gebel al-Mawta is located roughly 1 kilometer north of Siwa's main square and is easily reached by foot, bike or careta (donkey cart).
Admission & Fees
 
An entrance fee is charged. A guardian accompanies all visitors and opens the gates of the locked tombs. He will expect a tip when you are done.
Things to Keep in Mind
 
Take care when walking this honeycombed hill; the roofs of the tombs under your feet have holes both small and big.
 
Traveler Reviews

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Rock-cut tombs and wall paintings

Submitted on 15 February 2008 by snowedunder from Monza, Italy
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Deciphering wall paintings is fun, once. After the first tomb my 9-year-old daughter was more interested in taking pictures and sweeping with a date branch than making sense of figures. The risk of getting lost on the this small brown mountain is nil so we let her wander. Our only word of warning, 'Watch your step!' There was more than one hole in the rock-cut tombs we walked on.
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