Lying some 35km east of Mut in Dakhla oasis lies Balat, the Palace, an ancient settlement dating back to Pharaonic times, and one which had strong trading links with the Kushite peoples of the southern desert. The present village dates from the medieval period and displays typical features of a desert town – tiny doors giving onto narrow streets designed this way to protect from the sun and sandstorms but also to prevent the racing horses of invaders gaining entry. As with Al Qasr north of Mut the doorways are topped with decoratively-carved lintels.


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