"The most ancient Egypt's capital"

Alabaster sphinx in Memphis from the New Kingdom period.

Alabaster sphinx from the New Kingdom period.

Memphis, a Greek word derived from the Egyptian Menofre, was the capital of the Old Kingdom and continued to enjoy considerable importance through¬out Pharaonic times.

During the New Kingdom period, the Pharaohs, particularly Ramses II, invested great efforts in increasing its splendour.

The Greek historian Herodotus visited Memphis in the 5th century BC, when it was one of the largest and most beautiful of Eastern cities, but it began to lose importance to Alexandria in the Ptolemaic era.

Wars, invasions and the flooding of the Nile finally wiped practically all trace of it from the face of the earth, and all that remains now are a few ruins of this great city, whose site is now occupied by a beautiful palm grove.

The great Alabaster Sphinx was found amongst the ruins of what was once the temple devoted to Ptah, creator of the world.

Statue of Ramses II found at Memphis, Egypt

Statue of Ramses II found at Memphis, Egypt

Also found near this sphinx, carved from a single block weighing 80,000 kilos, was an enormous statue of Ramses II, some twelve metres high, and which is now sheltered by a specially-built pavilion.

A second colossal statue of Ramses II, identical to that which stands opposite Central Station in Cairo, was also found in this area.

From Giza to Fayoum, scattered along the length of a strip of desert beside the west bank of the Nile are nearly one hundred pyramids (most of them rather deteriorated), numerous mastabas and the tombs of non-royals forming necropolises per¬taining to the city of Memphis

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