Day 6 The oracle in the desert

Along with Dodona and Delphi in Greece, the oracle temple of Amun at the oasis of Siwa was the best known oracle in antiquity and is still famous today for Alexander the Great’s visit.

The Ammoneion at Siwa Oasis amid a sea of palm trees (Photo: DAI Cairo)

“Rediscovery” of Siwa by W. H. Browne in 1792 ushered in a phase of intense interest in the lost oracular site among early antiquaries and later researchers from Europe. Systematic excavations only began in 1993 as part of a project by the DAI’s Cairo department which aimed to produce a complete record of the site in terms of its archaeology, architecture and geology. Among other things a topographic map has been produced on the basis of aerial photographs and using photogrammetry.

On conclusion of the extensive archaeological work, the structures on the citadel and at the oracular site were restored and made safe for visitors.

View across the citadel hill to the distant mountain Gabal al-Takrur, rising up out of the palm forest (Photo: DAI Cairo)
The mosque on the citadel hill has been carefully restored, too, and is open to visitors (Photo: DAI Cairo)

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