Museums at Bahariya oasis: Despite being so small city, Bawiti venter of Bahariya Oasis has got two museums.
The Antiquities Inspectorate Museum:
Also known as Bawati Museum or the Mummy Hall, the museum contains discoveries from a vast cache of mummies found in Bahariya. The Greco-Roman mummies were found by chance when a donkey stumbled into a hole in the desert in 1996. The necropolis beneath was vast and it is believed there are over 10,000 mummies buried there.
Many were beautifully decorated, some covered with a layer of gold, some wearing painted masks and jewellery, some buried in pottery coffins and some wrapped in linen. They were surrounded by amulets, coins and wine jars needed for their afterlife.
Among the 10 mummies on display in the museum are 4 of the famous Golden Mummies, which are a life-like representation of the deceased with curly hair and long eyelashes. Excavation of the Valley of the Golden Mummies has been suspended because the mummies deteriorate and decompose when they are taken out of the ground.
The Oasis Heritage Museum:
This little museum highlights the work of Mahmoud Eed, a self-taught Bedouin artist. There is also a shop with beautiful embroidered dresses and locally-made silver jewellery.
Inspired by the old-timer Badr of Farafra, Mahmoud shapes clay to depict his experience of life in the oasis. The clay figures show a way of life that has disappeared for the local men, who used to hunt gazelles and do weaving.