Gebel al-Mawta

sights / Historic

Gebel al-Mawta information

Siwa Oasis , Egypt
adult/student E£25/15
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A small hill at the northern end of Siwa Town, Gebel al-Mawta – whose name means Mountain of the Dead – is honeycombed with rock tombs, most dating back to the 26th dynasty, Ptolemaic and Roman times. Only 1km from the centre of town, the tombs were used by the Siwans as shelters when the Italians bombed the oasis during WWII.

The best paintings are in the Tomb of Si Amun , where beautifully coloured reliefs portray the dead man – thought to be a wealthy Greek landowner or merchant – making offerings and praying to Egyptian gods. Also interesting are the unfinished Tomb of Mesu-Isis , with a beautiful depiction of cobras in red and blue above the entrance; the Tomb of Niperpathot , with inscriptions and crude drawings in the same reddish ink you can see on modern Siwan pottery; and finally the Tomb of the Crocodile , whose badly deteriorating wall paintings include a yellow crocodile representing the god Sobek.