Photo courtesy of Zahi Hawass

Slowly, painstakingly, a 2,000-year-old gilded mummy is being freed from the earth, in this photo taken at Egypt’s Bahariya Oasis. Long known for its prosperous vineyards and ancient temple to Alexander the Great, the Bahariya Oasis is now enchanting the world with its scores of elaborately painted, gilded mummies from the Roman period. The Bahariya Oasis, author Zahi Hawass estimates, may contain thousands more of these “Emissaries of the Golden Age.”