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    Memphis    
Memphis Memphis
image © 2004 Mythegypte

Memphis is the early capital of Egypt in the Pharaonic times. Its name is derived from the Coptic name Menfe (also used in Arabic) which in turn was taken from the hieroglyphicWhat does it mean? name 'Mennufer' which means 'the beautiful
   
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place.' It was probably built by King Menes of the 1st dynasty around 3100 BC.

The city, now in ruins, was once a prosperous city as described by Greek historian Herodotus. Memphis didn't loose its position even after emergence of Thebes (Luxor) as a capital in the Middle Kingdom. The past grandeur of the city can be felt from the size of its necropolisesWhat does it mean? at Saqqara, Abu Sir, AbuWhat does it mean? Rawash and Dahshur.

But later the city was overflowed by the Nile floods over centuries causing gradual damage of the city precipitated by the demolition of the locals. The city began to diminish in the Christian era and after the Arab invasion in the 7th century AD. Today little is left of this once-a-great city. There are scattered ruins of PtahWho is this deity? temple and palaces that one day dominated the site.
Memphis is about 24 km (15 miles) south of Cairo and about 3 km (2 miles) south of Saqqara.

Monuments
The city has the ruins of the temple of Ptah, the patron-god of the city, and a garden-museum that has valuable artifacts and fragments collected from the area. This includes an alabaster sphinxWhat does it mean? of unknown origin.

   
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There is also a small roofed museum that displays a recumbent limestone colossusWhat does it mean? of Ramesses II that is actually a gigantic piece of art. It is about 10 meters (33 ft) in height but lost its lower limbs. (See main image above)

In the garden also are also the ApisWho is this deity? bull beds where the deified animals were mummified before their burial.

Nearby are also ruins of an ancient palace of the city.
   
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