Frescoes and Mummies in the Western Desert
Around the table-top mountain of Dakhla, Gebel Edmonstone, you’ll find many tombs dating back to Roman times, of which the most known are the Muzawaka Tombs. The Muzawaka tombs were discovered in recent times by the Egyptian archaeologist Ahmed Fakhry in 1972. Beautifully preserved colourful wall paintings in the Muzawaka tombs depict scenes of men worshipping the gods Petosiris and Sadosiris. Due to conservation issues, these tombs are currently closed to visitors and restoration work is in progress. To reach the Muzawaka tombs, contact a local travel agent, or arrange a couple of hour’s trip with a local 4X4 driver.
Balat’s Ancient Necropolis
A few kilometres east of Balat – the Islamic medieval village in the oasis of Dakhla – lies Qila al-Dabba, Balat’s ancient necropolis. Today, Qila al-Dabba consists of the ruins of 5 mastabas, structures that look like pyramid bases; at least three of them serve as the eternal resting place of 3 governors who ruled over the oasis during the 6th dynasty. One of the mastabas has been recently restored and it is now open to the public. Mastabas consist of underground burial chambers, topped by rooms at ground level in which visitors used to offer presents to the deceased.You can easily get to Balat from Mut by bus.
The Mark of the Mamluks & Ottomans
Built over an Ancient Egyptian site, Balat is an enchanting Islamic medieval village about 35 km from Mut. See the Sudanese-style mud architecture and the influence of the Mamluk and Ottoman reign of Egypt. Ask a guide to take you to the roof of a mud-brick house to see a fine view of Balat.200 m east of Balat lies Ain el-Asil, an Old Kingdom Settlement. About 1.5 km away is Qila Al-Dabba, Balat's ancient necropolis formed of five mastabas, one which has been restored and open to the public.