The earliest known example of Planning in Egypt is the town of El-Lahun. Dating back to the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt (B.C. 1550-1077), the first of three dynasty's in the New Kingdom, El-Lahun was a planned as a workers camp. There are other settlements in Egypt before this time, but because Egyptian cities have been continuously inhabited and ancient sites survive in fragments, little is understood about how Egyptian towns and cities developed over time.
Researchers have identified three types of classical Egyptian settlements: niwt, dmi, and whyt. These three terms, developed in the Middle Kingdom, sought to organize and unify the governmental structures that managed these places. Niwt is the largest of these three categories and is represented by is Gardiner sign listed no. O49 for the intersection of a town's streets. In some Egyptian hieroglyphs books the sign is called a City Plan, although mistakenly so as most dmi's were unplanned settlements that developed from early settlements. Dmi is the in-between settlement that typically refers to medium-to-large towns. El-Lahun is a member of this class. Whyt are the smallest of these settlements.