Dakhla is the oasis that lies furthest off the main settlements of Egypt. At an elevation of 122 metres above sea level, it is still fed by more than 600 springs and ponds.
Dakhla is not the name of a single settlement, but
is a collection of fourteen different settlements, dominated on its Northern Horizon by a Wall of Rose-Colored Rock. Fertile cultivated areas growing rice, peanuts and fruit are aligned between sand dunes along the roads from Farafra to Kharga. The area is so vast that it must have appeared as a world of its own in older days.
It's Capital, Mut is named after the ancient goddess of the Theban Triad. Al-Kasr, about 35 kilometers from Mut, was originally a Roman settlement which later became the Medieval Capital of Dakhla. The Old Town is a labyrinth of mud-walled alleyways narrowly separating houses with elaborately - carved wooden support beams, and an Ayyubid Mosque.
Like other oases, there is evidence that Dakhla was inhabited since prehistory, but unlike all the others, here significant remains dating to the Old Kingdom have been found. The archaeological remains unearthed at 'Ayn Asil in the last twenty years suggest that this oasis must have played an important role under the VI Dynasty of the Egyptian kings. Placed at the junction between the track called Darb el-Tawil, leading directly to Middle Egypt, and the two caravan routes which via Kharga gave access to a number of tracks to Upper Egypt, 'Ayn Asil was originally a small square fortified enclosure. During the reign of Pepi II, the Governors of the oasis built a large palace and obtained the permission to erect small sanctuaries for themselves
Today, the exposed area of the palace is quite striking Even though over 4,000 years have passed since it was built, the thick mud-brick walls, clay floors and limestone column bases still give a very good impression of what the building must have looked like. Attached to the settlement, there was a large necropolis, today called Qila el-Dabba,
by the presence of sevenlarge mastabas, massive rectangular mud-brick superstructures that covered the tombs of the local Governors
Several ancient cemeteries have been found in Dakhla, and it is evident that the area was occupied continuously up to the Roman rule, when the Oasis seems to have been heavily populated and intensely cultivated. Hundreds of Roman wells still survive. The most impressive remains of this period are to be found at Amheida, a large settlement half-covered by sand surrounded by an extensive necropolis
The Roman tombs of Bashandi, 1st Century Al-Muzawaka Tombs and Deir Al-Hagar, a temple which was originally dedicated to the Theban Triad and later rebuilt by the Romans are certainly worth a visit while nearby in Baalat, archaeologists are still uncovering dozens of 6 th Dynasty Mastabas.
At the end of a long exciting day, one can relax in the hot sulphur spring nearby