"The ancient Egyptian captial" Memphis by csordila

Memphis Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 86 photos

In the Open Air Museum at Memphis stands the largest marble sphinx statue, the Alabaster Sphinx - 4,50 metres high and 8 metres long -, which was carved from a single stone in honor of Queen Hatsepshut.
The city of Memphis according to Herodotus was founded around 3100 BC by Menes, the mythical king.
The local God was called Ptah, who was the God of creation and workmen. read more

The Open Air Museum

For despite being the ancient capital of Egypt and the largest inhabited city in the world for much of that time, Memphis today contains little more than a splendid open air museum. Much of the old city today lies covered by palm groves. There are less visitors here, than at Saqqara and also absent are the accompanying circus of camel rides, souvenir hawkers, wannabe guides and little children thrusting items in your hand only to ask you for “baksheesh” later.
The most impressive statue lies on its back in the modern museum building. This colossal limestone statue of Ramses II is a twin to the statue erected in the centre of Midan Rameses in Cairo but the museum piece is only a fragment, but even without its lower legs it measures nearly thirteen metres and once stood with its companion outside the Temple of Ptah at Memphis. The grounds display other statues of Rameses II, including one of red granite which once lay behind the museum but has now been erected at the eastern end of the garden.
The other major monument in the area is a limestone sphinx dating to the New Kingdom.


Visiting Saqqara

Funerary area at Memphis, 20 km south of Cairo and Giza. The entire area covers 7 km².
This was the necropolis for the first pharaohs, at the same time as Memphis was the capital, and has therefore the oldest pyramids of all. The tombs erected for Pharaohs at Saqqara belong to a period stretching from the 27th century to the 24th BCE, but the area was used for graves for millenniums after this time.
The excavations of Saqqara belongs mainly to this century, and the mortuary complex around the Step Pyramid of Djoser was not reclaimed from the sand until 1924. Saqqara remains the main centre for Egyptian archaeology right now, and many tombs are still undiscovered. read more


  • Last visit to Memphis: Dec 2004
  • Intro Updated May 30, 2009
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Comments (1)

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    May 24, 2009 at 3:49 PM

    I missed seeing this huge sphinx at memphis....but thanks for sharing and I enjoyed reading about Saqqara -- something to look forward to in the future...Norman :)

csordila

“I won't tell the story the way it happened, I'll tell it the way I remember it.”

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