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The Siwa Oasis is an oasis in Egypt, located between the Qattara Depression and the Egyptian Sand Sea in the Libyan Desert, nearly 50 km (30 mi) east of the Libyan border, and 560 km (348 mil) from Cairo. About 80 km (50 miles) in length and 20 km (12 mi) wide,Siwa Oasis is one of Egypt's isolated settlements, with 23,000 people, mostly ethnic Berbers who speak a distinct language of the Berber family known as taSiwit. Its fame lies primarily in its ancient role as the home to an oracle of Amon, the ruins of which are a popular tourist attraction which give the oasis its name.
Agriculture is the main activity of modern Siwi, particularly the cultivation of dates and olives. Handicrafts like basketry are also of regional importance.Tourism has in recent decades become a vital source of income. Much attention has been given to creating hotels that use local materials and play on
Although the oasis is known to have been settled since at least the 10th millennium BC, the earliest evidence of connection with ancient Egypt is the 26th Dynasty, when a necropolis was established. The ancient Egyptian name of Siwa was Sekht-am.
Greek settlers at Cyrene made contact with the oasis around the same time (7th century BC), and the oracle temple of Amun, who, Herodotus was told, took the image here of a ram. Herodotus knew of a fountain of the Sun that ran coldest in the noontide heat. Prior to his campaign of conquest in Persia, Alexander the Great reached the oasis, supposedly by following birds across the desert. The oracle, Alexander's court historians alleged, confirmed him as both a divine personage and the legitimate Pharaoh of Egypt