(2300 – 30 BCE)
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 present day.
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 sites.
The capital shifted to Mut, probably after the Middle Kingdom, after 1800 B.C.E. and the great temple to Seth was founded there.