Saturday, August 10, 2013



Memphis is the Greek name of the administrative capital of ancient Egypt, which has its historical roots dating as far back as the Early Dynastic period. The origin of the founding of the city is credited to the "mythical" first king Menes, who said he attended Upper and Lower Egypt for the first time around 3100 BC. Traditionally Menes was thought to be trapped inside the city walls white mud which gave the ancient name of "Inbw-hedj", "White Walls" service or "white fortress" and probably once stood on the Nile before the river bed gradually shifted to the east. Memphis name of the capital is thought to derive from the Egyptian 'Mennefer, "the former name of the whole pyramid of Pepi I (sixth dynasty) which is located near South Saqqara.

Open-air museum in Memphis

There is nothing to see first monuments, now buried under an area that has long been cultivated. Archaeologists suggest that the ancient city is now under the deep silt of the Nile to the west of the river, although investigations by the Egypt Exploration Society have recently attempted to locate its position in an area of ​​land more high. Today the site centers around the modern village of Mit Rahina on the west bank of the Nile south of Cairo 24 and is reduced to a small museum and a forum where the statues are exhibited. Most of the existing remains date to the New Kingdom.
Alabaster Sphinx and the statue of Ramses II
The most impressive statue is located on the back in the modern building. This colossal limestone statue of Ramses II is a twin to the statue that for decades has been erected in the center of Midan Ramses in Cairo, but was moved to Giza. The museum part is only a fragment, but even without his legs, he is nearly three meters and was with his girlfriend outside the temple of Ptah in Memphis. The reasons for museums display other statues of Ramses II, one of red granite that once stood behind the museum but it was erected at the eastern end of the garden. Another important monument in the grounds is a limestone massif (or alabaster ') sphinx dating from the New Kingdom.
Embalming tables Apis bulls

To the west of the museum grounds, visitors can also see several embalming of the "House of the Apis bulls tables. These animals were sacred to the god Ptah and having lived a pampered life, were ritually mummified and placed to rest with great pomp in the Serapeum at Saqqara. The calcite embalming tables are more than five meters in length and dates of the house I embalming Shoshenq of the XXII Dynasty, although probably replaced an earlier structure.
Temple of Hathor
The walls of the temple of Ptah, covers a huge area and is now mostly submerged by the culture. Ptah was the chief god of the Memphis area and with his wife and son Nefertem Sekhmet, formed the Memphis triad. Much of the temple of Ptah during the reign of Ramses II and was once one of the largest temples in Egypt. Today, all that can be seen are the remains of a pillared hall near where the west tower had stood in an area that is often wet because of the water table rising. This is the only part of the temple have been properly excavated. To the east, at Kom Rabia there is a small temple of Hathor, also built by Ramses II, but only the tops of the columns Hathor head and a few blocks with reliefs can now be considered as the site has been re- buried for excavation. A small temple of Seti I can also be seen in the southwest. There is evidence to support the existence of a small Aten temple at Kom el-Qala, which dates from the reign of Akhenaten.
A short distance east of the enclosure in an area called Kom el-Qala is the site of a palace and a small temple of Ptah built by Merenptah, son of Ramses II, although virtually nothing remains. Some of the existing remains of the palace of Merenptah were rebuilt as a model in the museum of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, USA). When Petrie excavated the Kom el-Qala area he also discovered the remains of an industrial site from the Roman era, and evidence of the production of earthenware. Many blocks of Amenhotep III were reused in the small temple of Ptah and was recently recorded by archaeologists Chicago House in Luxor.
Platform king's palace Apries

In the northern part of the enclosure of Ptah, near the village of Tell el-Aziz, a vast area encompasses a site where Epoch platform Apries mudbrick palace of the king of the XXVI Dynasty can be seen, built on a plot more high. It is also the site of a Roman camp.

The city of Memphis was of great importance in the Pharaonic history. For most of the time it was the capital of the "Two Lands," but even when Thebes has grown to be the royal and religious capital of the New Kingdom, Memphis probably retained its status as the administrative capital of the country. The city lost its importance during the Ptolemaic period, when Alexandria was the favorite royal residence.

A geophysical survey was carried out recently by David Jefferies and Ian Mathieson in the area north of Memphis.
How to get there
The village of Mit Rahina is located about 24 km from Cairo. Take the road south of Giza in the village of El-Badrashein and off to the west. The trip can be easily combined with a visit to Saqqara which is about 3 km south of Mit Rahina. The site is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. et tickets cost 35 EGP.

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