Over 5000 years ago, a pr Egypt to create a powerful unified country, that was King Narmer, the founder of the first dynasty in ancient Egypt. To create a powerful country, you need to have a powerful capital, that when King Narmer decided to create Memphis, the first capital of ancient Egypt.
Who Founded Memphis ?
King Narmer founded Memphis around 3100 BCE; it remained the seat of power to the Old Kingdom for several dynasties. It was known as the “Whitewall,” referring to the palace of the king that was built with whitewashed bricks. The original name of the city was Men-Nefer, and Memphis was the Greek translation of the name.
Where is Memphis Located ?
The first thing the kings considered when choosing a capital is the unique location, and choosing the site of Memphis wasn’t an exception. It is located 20 Km south of Modern Cairo, on the West Bank of the River Nile. The location of Memphis is now in a village named “Meet Raheena” in Badrasheen, a city on the south of Giza.
What is Memphis ?
Memphis was the home of the pharaohs who raised the three magnificent pyramids; you can find about 100 pyramids near Cairo around the area of Memphis. These pyramids were built during this period; they refer to the place as the “Memphite pyramid area.”
Who is God Ptah ?
During the first dynasties in ancient Egypt, God Ptah, the god of craftsmen and architects, was widely worshiped. It was found in documents called “Memphite Theology” that God Ptah was the creators of the humans; he created them through the power of his heart and speech, as they believed.
The Importance of Memphis
For over 3000 years Memphis remained one of the most important cities in Egypt. Its importance declined over the years until the city was entirely abandoned by the 7th century CE. That’s why there are so few remains from the capital that is over 5000 years old. Memphis was added to the UNESCO’s world heritage list in 1979, it will remain a significant site in Egypt.
What to see In Memphis ?
The archeological discoveries made in Memphis are put to the show in an open-air museum. One of the most impressive artifacts discovered is the massive statue of Ramses II, which is over 10 meters long, carved from limestone. The statue was discovered in 1820 by an Italian archeologist named Giovanni Caviglia.
Ramses II Statues
Another colossal statue of Ramses II was discovered at the temple of Ptah, which now stands high at the entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum, adding to the magnificence of the place. Ramses II ruled Egypt during the 19th century when Thebes was the capital, but he left traces all over Egypt from the North to the South.
Memphis & Saqqara
Since Memphis was the capital of ancient Egypt and one of the most populated cities, where were the burials of the ancient citizens of Memphis?
About 15 minutes drive from Memphis, you’ll find Saqqara, where the Kings and non-Kings of Memphis were buried. Saqqara is also the largest complex of animal cemeteries and cult buildings all over Egypt. Besides that, it is famous for being the site of the first trial of building a pyramid by King Djoser and designed by the brilliant architect Imhotep.
Both Memphis and Saqqara are must-see sites when you are in Cairo; it is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt since it is the oldest, even older than the pyramids of Giza.
You know what they say about Egypt, it came first, then history followed.