Ancient Egypt: the capital of Memphis.

Egyptian civilization is one of the most ancient.During its long history of the capital city many times moved from one city to another.This was due to political beliefs and whims of the ruling dynasty.For a long time in the state was even two capitals.More than 6 thousand years it was divided into Upper and Lower Egypt, each of which had its main city.The ancient capital of Egypt, was the city of Memphis.When the two parts of the country came together, he grew up on the former border.

heyday of Memphis

According to archaeological excavations carried out in the territory of ancient Egypt, the capital of Memphis traces its history to the XXII century BC.e.While in power he was the Pharaoh Menes (months).

At the time of founding the first capital of ancient Egypt was called Inbuhedzh.Translated into Russian, it means "white walls".So I called fortress around which the city was built.

During the reign of Pharaoh Pepi II Neferkara in 2279 - 2219 years BC.e.the name of the ancient capital of Egypt was changed to Memphis, which translates as "strong and beautiful Pepi."This name is preserved for all her subsequent history.

City occupied an important place in the life of civilization, bearing the name of ancient Egypt.Capital served as the religious, political, agricultural and artisan functions.Memphis remained an important city in the country for a long time.

best combat uniforms and the chariots out of the workshops of Memphis.It was the center of the defense industry of the ancient world.

Memphis have been built important religious buildings dedicated to Ptah and Apis.There was a cult of these deities.

Earth around the capital were very fertile.Nile overflowed widely and fed the soil with silt.Thus, it receives natural fertilizer.Most of the inhabitants of Memphis were employed in agriculture.They grew cotton, grapes, figs and crops harvested rose oil, sheep breeding.

peasants gathered a rich harvest from the fields.Sheep are well grown and bred.Local flock reached several hundred thousand.Therefore, problems with the sustenance of all inhabitants of the royal court did not arise.A large palace servants, priests, servants and slaves have always been satisfied.

Capital Memphis

Over the long history of the state capital of Ancient Egypt was transferred from Memphis to other cities.So, Memphis wore status of the main cities of Egypt in the following periods:

  • during the reign of Dynasty VIII in 2950 - 2180 years BC .;
  • during the reign of Pharaoh Seti XIX dynasty in 1290 - 1279 years BC .;
  • during the reign of the pharaohs of the New Kingdom in the XIV-XII centuries BC.e .;
  • during the reign of the pharaohs in the past 404-343 years.BC.e.

In 715 - 664 years BC, when the power is XXV Ethiopian dynasty, the official capital located in Napata.But in fact, the political center remained Memphis, all government orders came from him.

525 - 404 343 - 332 years BC.e.and 332 - 322 years BCpower were Persians and Macedonians respectively.They ruled the country from Memphis.

decline Memphis

From 342 BCIt begins the decline of the capital of the ancient kingdom of Egypt.The geographical location of Memphis has ceased to be relevant.He was in the wilderness.New power needed access to the sea, which would allow to trade with the Mediterranean countries.Therefore, the city has lost its former importance.

also started the Arab conquest of the country and the construction of Cairo, which became the new capital.For the construction of its buildings Arabs used the stone of the beautiful palaces of Memphis.

Excavation Memphis

For a long time the capital of Ancient Egypt, Memphis, was hidden under the silt, which caused the water of the Nile.Excavation began only in XVIII - XIX centuries.It was promoted by a campaign of Napoleon and Europe's interest in Egyptology, which was booming at the time.

country was occupied by Britain.The British exported from Egypt all that was possible to transport by sea.It was then discovered of the buildings in Memphis - the ruins of the temple of the god Ptah and Serapeum, cemetery Apis bulls.These animals were the earthly incarnation of the god Ptah.

ruins Memphis

most famous archaeological sites in the area is the ancient capital of Memphis necropolis.It stretches for 35 km to the west of the city.It includes several archaeological sites - Giza, Saqqara, Abu Roash, Abusir and Zaviet al-Arian.

also famous for the ruins of the temple of Ptah.But from him almost nothing.But the two statues of Ramses II, who stood in front of the temple, almost survived.They have a height of 13 meters.One of them is made of granite, the other - from limestone.

to the temple of Ptah led the Avenue of the Sphinxes, of which only one survived.The pyramids and tombs of the necropolis of Memphis were looted and almost completely destroyed.

Archaeological excavations have shown that Memphis stretched for many kilometers.But most of its area is occupied by residential neighborhoods, not communicating with each other.They proliferate around the Pharaoh's palace.During the Arab conquest in the quarters began to settle people of the same profession or a specific origin.

Excavations continued for more than two centuries.But to date, only a quarter of the territory explored the city.

surviving monuments of Memphis

One of the surviving statues of Ramses II in 1955, was installed in front of the railway station in Cairo.

second statue is in a special garden area of ​​Memphis.It was discovered in 1820.Part of her legs not preserved.

In the same garden there is a table made of alabaster.It was used for embalming Apis, the sacred bull.Also noteworthy eight-meter Sphinx.

partially preserved necropolis of Memphis.It consists of many tombs and pyramids.Some of his plots - Giza, Abusir, Saqqara and Dahshur - in 1979 were included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Memphis and modernity

important cities of the Ancient Egypt, the capital of Memphis, has come a long historical path.Its ruins lie to the south-west of Cairo.Their modern neighbors are small settlements of El Badrasheyn and Mit Rakhine.

their residents, as well as people living on this land centuries ago, engaged in farming and raising sheep.But with the growing interest of tourists to historical monuments in Egypt are beginning to change their occupation.Some residents switch to the production of figurines that issue for the ancient Egyptian, and others - to work guides.

But the latter type of income is uncertain.The majority of archaeological finds is not shown to tourists.For example, the Temple of Ptah is often poured water table, making it inaccessible to the public.Other interesting findings are open only to scholars and archaeologists.Tourists are also offered only to admire the palm groves of trees, listen to a brief historical overview and go further.