Siwa History

[I]ts fame lies primarily in its ancient role as the home to an oracle of Amun, the ruins of which are a popular tourist attraction which gave the oasis its ancient name Ammonium. Historically, it is part of Ancient Libya. Its modern name Siwa, first attested in the 15th century (earlier Arab geographers termed it Santariyyah), is of uncertain origin. Basset  links it to a Berber tribal name swh attested further west in the early Islamic period, while Ilahiane, following Chafik, links it to the Tashelhiyt Berber word asiwan, a type of prey bird, and hence to Amon-Ra, one of whose symbols was the falcon

After Alexander the great conquered Egypt and took control of the county, he started building his amazing city of Alexandria. When he was in process of building his new city, he thought that he wanted to visit the worldwide famous temple of the oracle of Amun which is located near Siwa.

In 331 AD Alexander the great and some of his companions and army troops left Alexandria and moved in the direction of Marsa Matruh and then to the north in the convoys’ way called “Sekket Al Sultan”, or the Sultan way. After some days passing by, the water that they had was over and most of the people in the convoy felt horrified. However, on the other day, the sky rained very heavily in this area where it rains very rarely.

However, after a few days, a sand storm from the south took place and Alexander and his convoy lost their way in the desert. Suddenly, two birds appeared in front of them in the desert and Alexander ordered his men to follow these birds saying” these are messengers form Amun”.
They factually, afterwards, found their way to the temple of Amun whose priests as well as the inhabitants of Siwa, didn’t know that Alexander was visiting, so when they saw him coming, they went to welcome him immediately.The high priest of the temple of Amun gave the chance to Alexander to go inside the inner room of the temple by himself and consult Amun in his matters and ask him all the questions he had. After Alexander was out of the temple, he seemed happy and satisfied. When his companions asked him about the reason behind his happiness, he said that he will not inform anyone except his mother.

Many historians said that Persian king, Cambyses, wanted to go to Siwa to punish the priests of the temple of Amun because they predicted that his life and achievements will all end painfully in Egypt and the expectations of the priests of Amun turned out to be true after all. When Cambyses took the way going to Siwa, a Sandstorm took place and it destroyed Cambyses and all his army which gave more importance to the temple of the oracle of Amun in Siwa. A lot of history scholar and adventurers dream till today to find any track of Cambyses or his army that consisted of more than fifty thousand men who all disappeared in the Eastern desert of Egypt.

It was said that the most ancient human foot steps were discovered in Siwa in 2007. These footsteps go back to three million years.




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