(Arabic: الواحات البحرية, al-Wāḥāt al-Baḥrīya, meaning the "northern oases") is a depression in Egypt. It is approximately 360 km away from Cairo. Located in Giza Governorate, the main economic sectors are agriculture, iron ore mining, and tourism. The main agricultural products are guavas, mangos, dates, and olives.
The depression was populated since the neolithic, even if there is no archaeological evidence to all times. In el-Haiz, a prehistoric settlement site of hunter-gatherers was found with remains of grindstones, arrowheads, scrapers, chisels, and ostrich eggshells. In Qārat el-Abyaḍ, a Czech team led by Miroslav Bárta discovered a settlement of the Old Kingdom. Rock inscriptions in el-Harrah and other records date to the Middle Kingdom and upwards. The tomb of Amenhotep called Huy was erected in Qarat Hilwah at the end of the 18th dynasty. In the 26th dynasty, the depression was culturally and economically flourishing. This can be learned from the chapels in 'Ain el-Muftilla, the tombs in Qārat Qasr Salim and Qarat esh-Sheikh Subi, and the site of Qasr 'Allam.
A newly flourishing time occurs at the Greek-Roman time. There is the ruin of a temple to Alexander the Great located in Qasr el-Miqisba ('Ain et-Tibniya). It is believed by some Egyptologists that the Greek conqueror passed through Bahariya while returning from the oracle of Ammon at Siwa Oasis. Excavations of the Greco-Roman necropolis found in 1995 and known as the Valley of the Golden Mummies began in 1999. Approximately thirty-four tombs have been excavated from this area. In Roman times, a big military fort was erected at Qarat el-Toub.
In the spring of 2010, a Roman-era mummy was unearthed in a Bahariya Oasis cemetery in el-Harrah. The 3-foot-tall female mummy was found covered with plaster decorated to resemble Roman dress and jewelry. In addition to the female mummy, archaeologists found clay and glass vessels, coins, anthropoid masks and 14 Greco-Roman tombs. Director of Cairo and Giza Antiquities Mahmoud Affifi, the archaeologist who led the dig, said the tomb has a unique design with stairways and corridors, and could date to 300 B.C. This find came as a result of excavation work for the construction of a youth center.
Carcharodontosaurus and Bahariasaurus (meaning "Bahariya lizard") dinosaur found in the Bahariya Formation, which date to about 95 million years ago. It was a huge theropod, it was described by Ernst Stromer in 1934, though the type specimen was destroyed during World War II in 1944. In 2000, an American scientific team conducted by Joshua Smith found the remains of type of dinosaur, the Paralititan stromeri.