The Ancient City of Memphis

The oldest structures in Cairo date back only to the last couple of centuries BC during Greco-Roman period; however, on the fringes of the city stand the Giza Pyramids, some of the oldest structures on Earth. Despite their proximity to Cairo, the difference in age between the pyramids and the city itself are proof of their different histories.

The pyramids at Giza and elsewhere in the desert near Cairo are part of the legacy of an older city and civilization that fell into decline long before Cairo was founded. Memphis was the seat of power of the Old Kingdom (2686—2181 BC) of Ancient Egypt, home to the pharaohs that raised the pyramids.

Most of the pyramids found near Cairo, numbering well over 100 in total, were built during this period when Memphis was the most powerful city in Egypt and probably the world.


History of Memphis City


Manf, Mn nfr, or Memphis is an ancient Egyptian city - one of the World Heritage Sites - and founded in 3200 BC by King Narmer. It was the capital of Egypt in the era of the Old Kingdom (dynasties 3-6), as well it was the era when god Ptah worshiped. Its current location is in a village called "Meet Raheena" in Badrasheen, a city located in governorate of Giza 19 km South of Cairo.


Memphis was known as the "White Wall" until the 26th century BC. The ancient Egyptians called it "Nefer". After that the Greeks called it "Memphis" and then the Arabs called it "Mannf".


The Ancient City of Memphis


Location of the Ancient City to Cairo


Cairo is 19 km to ancient Memphis, which proves the importance of this site throughout history. Both sites are located at the beginning of the Nile Delta, where the river slows down and spread out into a distinctive fan shape before entering the Mediterranean Sea.

From this strategic location, rulers of Egypt from the 3rd millennium up through present day have been able to exert their power in both Upper and Lower Egypt.


The Ancient City of Memphis

The ruins of this ancient capital are located 19 km south of Cairo on the west bank of the Nile. The site is over 5000 years old so little of the actual city remains, but it still boasts several impressive artifacts and an array of statues that have been uncovered in the past century.


Open Museum in "Meet Raheena"


Among the most important monuments in the open museum are the statue of Ramses II at the entrance and the huge statue of Ramses II which lies on the ground. There is also a statue of Alabaster in the image of the Sphinx and some other monuments. 


Most impressive by far is the massive statue of Ramesses II that was uncovered here, measuring over 30 feet tall. Ramesses II ruled from Thebes, near present day Luxor, long after the height of Memphis’s power had waned in the 13th century BC, but this huge statue shows that the city remained important even 1500 years after the Giza Pyramids were completed.


Rameses II: giant statues and great history


In Memphis there is a 10 meter length statue carved from limestone. It was discovered near the temple of god “Ptah” by the Italian archeologist Giovanni Caviglia in 1820.  


Other giant statue of Ramses II was also found in the temple of god “Ptah”, which was a complete statue that is why it was used to be a center monument in Ramses square in Cairo until 2006. Then it has been moved to a temporary place to be moved at the end to the new Grand Egyptian Museum. It is now the most remarkable icon at the entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum.


King Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great, has really great history and reputation due to his military expeditions, which led to demonstrating on huge portion of lands in North Africa and part of Asia. He is known also for his successors during the New Kingdom, so that he is called: the greatest, most celebrated and powerful pharaoh.


The Ancient City of Memphis


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