The ancient Egyptians came into the Dakhleh Oasis during the
Fifth Dynasty (about 2300 B.C.E.).
They established their capital at Ain Aseel, near Balat,
and settled across the oasis. Old Kingdom ceramics are frequently
discovered at sites which were occupied through later times.
The newcomers introduced their own Nile Valley irrigation
system which altered the oasis landscape and persists to the
Although evidence about the oasis is lacking from the Nile
Valley, it was clearly part of the Egyptian state with governors
and other officials.
This site was probably the final victualling point for westbound
expeditions and caravans, originating from Balat. Many of
the later periods are sparsely represented at several scattered
The capital shifted to Mut, probably
after the Middle Kingdom, after 1800 B.C.E. and the great
temple to Seth was founded there.