Egypt Picture - The Necropolis of al-Bagawat

The Necropolis of al-Bagawat

The Necropolis of al-Bagawat


R.S. Bagnall


The Necropolis of al-Bagawat


Probably the most significant Christian remains in any of the Western Oasis are those of the Necropolis of al-Bagawat in the Kharga Oasis, yet these ruins actually predate Christianity and consist of both pagan and Christian temples, chapels and burials. They date from between the 2nd and 6th centuries. However, this is considered to be one of the earliest and best preserved Christian cemeteries in the world.

The ruins are situated on the slopes of Gabal al-Tayr, about one and a half kilometers from the only known Persian Temple in Egypt, Hibis. The necropolis covers an area of about five hundred meters in length and two hundred meters wide. The main entrance to al-Bagawat is at the south side. There are some 263 chapels or shrines located in the necropolis that were built in eight distinguishable groups.

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