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Ancient Egypt
1. Introduction
2. People
3. Life styles
4. Culture
5. Education and Science
6. Society
7. Economy
8. Government
9. Cities and Villages
10. Language
11. Religion
12. Kings / periods
13. History
14. Map

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Open map of Ancient EgyptAncient Egypt / Cities and Villages /
Ancient Egyptian: Ineb-hedj

The face of the sphinx at Memphis, Egypt.
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The face of the sphinx at Memphis.

The lying statue of Ramses 2. Memphis, Egypt.
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The lying statue of Ramses 2.

Statue of Ramses 2. Memphis, Egypt.
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Statue of Ramses 2.


City of ancient Egypt, situated on the west bank of the Nile, 25 km south of today's Cairo.
The contemporary name of Memphis was Ineb-hedj. Its modern name, however comes from a later misunderstanding. Men-nefer, from which Memphis is derived, was the name of the pyramid complex of the Pepi 1 of the 6th Dynasty.
According to the legends, Memphis is supposed to be as old as united Egypt, founded by Menes, back to 3150 BCE, when it served as an administrative centre for southern and northern Egypt. Memphis was at this time located strategically at the apex of the Nile Delta. Memphis is counted for being the first imperial city in world history.
In the period of the Old Kingdom Memphis was either founded and/or became the capital of Egypt. The necropolises further north of Memphis are the most impressive remains from this period, involving the Pyramids at Giza and at Saqqara.
Memphis once again became an important city from the 25th dynasty, and there are a number of great monuments in Memphis proper from this period. Under the Persians (525- 404 BCE), Memphis was the capital. Memphis survived as an important city until the Arab conquest in the 7th century, when Cairo came to be constructed.
Little is left of the actual city, as non-monumental houses mostly were built from mud-bricks, which were destroyed by flooding of the Nile. Of monuments, there have been excavating of temples of Ptah, Isis and Re, two huge statues of Ramses 2 as well as a sphinx in alabaster.

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By Tore Kjeilen