Sun, 07 Mar 2021 - 12:13 GMT
FILE - Balat City in New Valley Governorate
CAIRO – 7 March 2021: The Egyptian government has recently restored the Islamic village in Balat, which is an addition to the map of tourist sites in the New Valley Governorate.
According to the official website of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Balat is an integrated archaeological city dating back to the Ottoman era. It was built on a high place to avoid the destructive effects of underground water, better adapt to the heat characterising the continent’s weather and to defend the city against the attacks of its enemies.
The city was named Balat because it housed the royal court during the Ottoman era. It includes many religious and civil buildings such as mosques, madrassas, and houses consisting of one, two or three floors. It also includes mills, juicers, ports, and shops.
According to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities website, the city’s history spans over thousands of years, starting with the Pharaonic eras, passing through the Roman and then Islamic eras. It includes two archaeological sites, which are Qalaa Al-Dabaa and Ain Al-Aseel.
Qalaa Al-Dabaa includes six terraces for the rulers of the oases during the ancient Egyptian’s Sixth Dynasty. The walls of the tombs show scenes of agriculture and domestication of animals in ancient Egypt. The area also includes Roman tombs, where a tomb of one of the rulers of the region is crowned by two small obelisks and a line on its door with hieroglyphs stating that he is the most powerful ruler of the desert.
As for the Ain Al-Aseel site, it includes the remains of the city dwellings dating back to the Sixth Dynasty of ancient Egypt. It is built with mud bricks, surrounded by a huge wall, and includes many shrines for worship.
Qalaa Al-Dabaa site was discovered by Ahmed Fakhry in 1970, whereas Ain Al-Aseel was discovered by the French Institute of Oriental Archeology in 1977.