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Egypt: Historical Pharaonic Egyptian Sites - Other Pharaonic Sites


Historical Egyptian Sites - Other Pharaonic Sites



This section lists sites that are not specific to temples, tombs or pyramids, though at times their content may overlap in with these topics. Frequently, topics in this section discuss cities, histories and general areas where tombs, temples and/or pyramids may be found. See also our special sections on pyramids (and list), temples (and list) and our list of tombs. For additional comprehensive information see Monuments in Egypt


The Ancient Egyptian Archaeological Site of Abu Rowash (Abu Rawash) Jimmy Dunn writing as Alan Winston

Abu Rowash (Abu Rawash, Abu Roash) in Egypt is located in the continuation of the Gebel el-Ghigiga, which is on the western fringe of the Nile Valley (30o2'N, 31o4'E). This archaeological site belongs to the very northern part of the necropolis of the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, and joins various sites together that date from the Early Dynastic Period to the Coptic Christian Period. Gebel Abu Rowash, an elevation in the region, is limited in the north by the depression of Wadi Qarun and in the south by Wadi el-Hassanah, where a section of the desert route leads from Cairo on the Nile River to Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast.

Abydos by Marie Parsons

Abydos, or Abjdu, lies in the eight nome of Upper Egypt, about 300 miles south of Cairo, on the western side of the Nile and about 9.5 miles from the river. It spreads over 5 square miles and contains archaeological remains from all periods of ancient Egyptian history. It was significant in historical times as the main cult center of Osiris, the lord of the netherworld. At the mouth of the canyon at Abydos, which the Egyptians believed to be the entrance to the underworld, one of the tombs of the 1st dynasty kings was mistaken for the tomb of Osiris, a thousand years later, and pilgrims would leave offerings to the god for another thousand years. The area is thus now called Umm el Qaab, "Mother of Pots."

Ain Umm Dabadib - Kharga Oasis by Jimmy Dunn

The site is probably best known for its fortress which is situated in a pectacular setting.at the base of an escarpment.

Akhmim (Ipu) Jimmy Dunn writing as Alan Winston

Akhmim, is an area on the east bank of the Nile opposite modern Sohag. The ancient Egyptians called it Ipu or Khent-min. To the Coptics it was Khmin or Shmin, and so the Greeks called it Khemmis. It was once a great center in Egypt, and the capital of the 9th Upper Egyptian nome. Regrettably, very little of its monuments remain today, as most building material was dismantled and used in nearby villages during the Middle Ages. Its ancient necropolis has never been systematically excavated. Northeast of Akmin there is a rock chapel at el-Salamuni that was dedicated to the local god Min. The Greek god Pan was associated with Min, so the town was also called Panopolis.

Alexandria, Egypt's Submerged Monuments by the Egyptian Government

Within the last few years, more and more relics are being discovered in Egypt's Alexandria's harbor. Take a look at some of the discoveries.

El Amarna by Jimmy Dunn

What we call Amarna, or el-Amarna today was the city of Akhetaten (The Horizon of the Aten). It was created by Egypt's heretic king, Akhenaten for his revolutionary religion that worshiped Aten during the Amarna Period. The ancient capital of Akhetaten lies some 365 miles south of Cairo in a natural amphitheater between inhospitable cliffs. This narrow opening exists for some twelve kilometers along the Nile River and has a half rounded depth of about five kilometers. This is the place where, in about the fifth year of the king's reign, we are told that by divine inspiration, Akhenaten build his capital. The site was unknown to the European travelers other than its name, which was a village called Et Til el-Amarna. Early visitors misunderstood its name, so it became to be known as Tell el-Amarna, though there are not a single tell, or great mound marking the ancient site.

Ancient Rock Quarries: The Ravine of Inscriptions by Amargi Hillier

Wadi Hammamat is a natural route which links the Red Sea to the Nile and is one of the most unexpected gorges in Egypt, located on the ancient trade route. This is the road used in antiquity by the merchants of Arabia to penetrate into the lands to the Pharaohs to trade with the inhabitants of Coptos, the present day Quft.

Ankhtifi & His Valiant Band by Alan M. Fildes

Being sufficiently intrigued by John Romers television programme Romers Egypt in the Mid 1980s I set off to investigate Ankhtifis mock Pyramid like burial place. In Mid August 1989 my diary states it was exceedingly warm 42 C at Noon. On arrival at the Ancient site of Hefat present day Moalla about 50 miles South of Luxor we crossed the canal and then negotiated the railway line with some difficulty, on our way to the local Mayors house he was custodian of the all important key. When he was finally located and sufficiently rewarded he agreed to accompany us (thats me and my great friend Awad my trusty driver).

Fort Babylon In Cairo by Jimmy Dunn

It has been said that many of Cairo's residents know little about the Fort of Babylon, though certainly the Christians do, because several of their oldest churches are built into or on its walls. These include El-Muallaqa (the Hanging Church) and the Greek Church of St. George. A number of other Coptic churches are nearby. The area is called Old, or Coptic Cairo (Masr el Atika), for this is indeed the oldest part of the city, and the remains of the fort are Cairo proper's oldest original structure. Indeed, Cairo owes its existence to this fort.

Bacchias in the Fayoum by Jimmy Dunn

Bacchias was a Ptolemaic (Greek) and Roman settlement in the Fayoum, and the focus of a long term Italian/Egyptian excavation.

The Bahariya Oasis, Part II: El Haiz Jimmy Dunn writing as Brian Rosewood

The area of El Haiz, about 30 miles southwest of El Bawiti in the Bahariya Oasis, is an interesting area and promises to reveal much about the Romans in Egypt, as well as Egypt's conversion to Christianity. The area was apparently investigated by Fakhry during the 1940s, and more recently surveyed by Dr. Zahi Hawass, who is now the director of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA). In part II of our series on the Bahariya Oasis, we will explore the ruins at El Haiz around Ain el-Rees, the largest of four local springs in the area. El Haiz marks the limit of the Giza governorate and the beginning of the New Valley. It is the last of the major oasis between Bahariya and the Farafra Oasis. In this area are located a Roman fortress and palace, a wine factory, a Coptic basilica as well as several cemeteries.

The History of the Bahariya Oasis by Jimmy Dunn

Over time, the Bahariya Oasis has had a number of different names. It has been called the Northern Oasis, the Little Oasis, Zeszes, Oassis Parva and the especially during the Christian era, the Oasis of al-Bahnasa, along with various other names. At one time, the Bahariya Oasis, as well as most of the rest of what is today referred to as the Western (or Libyan) Desert, was the floor of an immense ocean. Yet from about 3000 BC until the present, almost no rainfall graces this part of the world, so groundwater is its life blood.

Bani Hasan al Shurruq by Dr. Susan Wilson

A really neat, off the beaten track, site to visit is Bani Hasan (also spelled Beni Hasan). Located in Middle Egypt near to Al-Minya, Bani Hasan is one of the few Middle Kingdom sites (ca. 2040 1782 BCE, Dynasties XI and XII) that survived the massive reconstruction of the New Kingdom. It is a full days excursion from Cairo (about 4 hours by train then a short drive to the site). Another great option, is to stop for a night in Al-Minya when traveling by train between Cairo and Luxor. Spend the night and enjoy the beauty of Al-Minya, the closest city to Bani Hasan.

The Baron's Palace: Fables, Legends and Controversies by Heba Fatteen Bizzari

The building known as the Baron's Palace, and sometimes as the Indian Palace in Heliopolis is not one of Egypt's oldest, or greatest architectural accomplishments, and some might argue that it is no accomplishment at all. Nevertheless, this bizarre palace attracts lots of rumors and has as of late also been the focus of no small amount of controversy as a historical monument that catches the eye of most any visitor to Cairo's northern suburb.

Tell Basta (Bubastis, or Per-Bastet) Jimmy Dunn writing as John Warren

Tell Basta (Bubastis or Per-Bastet, meaning "The Domain of Bastet) is the site of an ancient city about 80 km to the northeast of Cairo in the eastern Nile Delta. The ancient mound sets just to the southeastern side of modern Zagazig. It was an important city from about the 4th Dynasty until the end of the Roman Period (2613 BC through 395 AD), and was the capital of the 18th Lower Egyptian nome during the Late Period. However, we also know that even as early as the 2nd Dynasty, a number of kings built up close ties with the city and the Temple of Bastet. Besides the important Temple of Bastet, the city also occupied key ground along the routs from Memphis to the Sinai (Wadi Tumilat) and to Asia.

Buto (Modern Tell el-Farein) Jimmy Dunn writing as John Warren

Nekhen was the capital of southern Egypt during the predynastic period. In the North, Nekhen's counterpart was Buto, which we believe is the area known as Tell el-Farain today (though there is some uncertainty regarding this). Buto probably came about as the merger of two different centers. The Pyramid Text refers to the "kings of Lower Egypt who were in Pe. In some of the references, Pe is associated with Horus, the Falcon god, so early on Horus was probably worshipped in both Lower and Upper Egypt. The text also references a place called Dep where the god Wadjet was worshipped. Pe and Dep were apparently neighboring cities. Eventually, these two cities together were called Per-Wadjet reflecting their two gods and from this came the Greek name of Buto.

The Cisterns of Alexandria by Jimmy Dunn

In recent years, the discovery of artifacts beneath the waters of the Alexandria coastline have made big headlines, but the ground beneath the streets of the city are also revealing many new discoveries from ancient Egypt. There have been tombs found, and explored, but one of the most amazing discoveries is actually that of the city's ancient system of cisterns. We must suppose that few tourists visiting a city would wish to see its cisterns, but in fact, archaic travelers to Alexandria, Egypt did just that.

The History of the Dakhla Oasis by Jimmy Dunn

If Kharga is the administrative center of Egypt's New Valley, than the Dakhla Oasis would be its breadbasket. It is a very lush region brimming with orchards and produce, and this is nothing new, for 10,000 years ago, when the climate here was similar to that of the African Savanna, it was teaming with buffaloes, elephants, rhinos, zebras, ostriches and hartebeests. There was a vast lake here, and on its southern shores were also human communities. However, as with most of the rest of the Western Desert, this wet era passed, and with it many of the people mostly migrated south and to the east, where they helped populate the early Nile Valley, as the sands slowly covered their ancient way of life.

Dakhla Oasis Restoration by Adel Murad

A great conference on the restoration project of medieval quarters in the Dakhleh Oasis in the Egyptian Western Desert.

Al-Deir in the Kharga Oasis by Jimmy Dunn

Al-Deir is really a series of sites tucked into a picturesque setting about twenty kilometers northeast of Qasr Kharga in the Kharga Oasis.

Deir el-Medina by Marie Parsons

Deir el-Medina, like Kahun and the town being uncovered at Giza, is a community of workmen and their families, supervisors and foremen and their families, all dedicated to building the great tombs of the Egyptian Kings. The image of hundreds, perhaps thousands of toiling slaves, whipped by overseers, seems seared into the modern consciousness, and "everyone" is convinced that the despots who ruled Egypt with iron greedy fists must have built their wealth and glory on the bleeding backs of this tortured labor.

Dimeh al-Siba in the Fayoum by Jimmy Dunn

Dimeh was a Roman outpost in the Fayoum with two temples, and its ruins remain scattered with ancient debris.

The Eastern Workmen's Village at Amarna by Jimmy Dunn

The Eastern Workers village at Amarna, which resembles in many respects that much more ancient worker's village at Lahun, is of outstanding importance regarding the study of town planning in Ancient Egypt. For one thing, we know that the population of this town during the Amarna Period was about 313, and hence we can calculate a population density of 15.65 square meters per person. At Amarna, the worker's village was located in a lonely spot to the east of the main city. It was intended for the artisans who worked on the rock-cut tombs located not far from the village. The village features a wall measuring 70 meters square which was oriented close to the cardinal points and enclosing a uniformly planned settlement of some sixty-eight houses.

The History of the Farafra Oasis by Jimmy Dunn

Of those with an interest in Egypt, and particularly the Western Oasis, the Farafra is probably one of the least known Oasis. It is actually one of the most difficult Oasis to reach and offered the pharaohs, caliphs and kings very little, though it seem to be on the way to everywhere. In ancient times, we believe that the Farafra experienced three specific wet phases, in about 9000 BC, 6000 BC and 4500 BC.

The History of the Fayoum Oasis by Jimmy Dunn

The Fayoum, sometimes referred to as the Fayoum Oasis, even though it is not a true Oasis, is situated not too far south of Cairo. It takes its name from the Coptic word, Phiom or Payomj, meaning lake or sea. During very ancient times, it was actually a sea, and today is well known for the finds of great, ancient whales. During prehistory, more people lived in the Fayoum than in the Nile Valley. The land here was lush, and there was an abundance of water. Between 7200 and 6000 BC, a time known as the Qarunian period, Southwest Asians, whom we call Epi-Paleolithic Qarunians, migrated to the area and settled it.

Gebelein Jimmy Dunn writing as Kelly Harbour

Though there are not many remains at Gebelein, it was an important region with a long history from Predynastic to Roman times.

The Geography and Geology of the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Thebes by Jimmy Dunn

Thebes was never a perfect position from which to rule Egypt. Perhaps that is why Memphis, even when it was not Egypt's capital, was nevertheless an important administrative center. Thebes really gained its importance as a religious center, along with the fact that it was an ideal location for an ancient Egyptian necropolis.

The Giza Plateau in Egypt by Jimmy Dunn

When Khufu, perhaps better known by his Greek name, Cheops, became king of Egypt after the death of Sneferu, there was no convenient space remaining at Dahshur, where Sneferu was buried, for Khufu's own pyramid complex. Hence, he moved his court and residence farther north, where his prospectors had located a commanding rock cliff, overlooking present day Giza, appropriate for a towering pyramid. This rock cliff was in the northernmost part of the first Lower Egyptian nome, Ineb-hedj ("the white fortress"). Giza is located only a few kilometers south of Cairo, several hundred meters from the last houses in the southernmost part of the city proper, where a limestone cliff rises abruptly from the other side of a sandy desert plateau.

The Search for Hidden Chambers on the Giza Plateau, Part I by Allen Winston

Not infrequently, the term "Hidden or Secret Chamber" is invoked by someone referring to one monument or another on the Giza Plateau just outside of Cairo, Egypt. This term of course implies something very mysterious and excites the general public's imagination which is, of course, the reason why more than a few wish to visit Egypt.Actually, any chamber inside most Royal Egyptian tombs, whether with a pyramid superstructure or not, were meant to be hidden. Egyptian Kings learned very early on that there were always going to be unscrupulous people who were ready, willing and resourceful tomb robbers.

The Search for Hidden Chambers on the Giza Plateau, Part II by Allen Winston

The day of using dynamite or other tunneling techniques to explore Egyptian monuments is long dead. In fact, any archaeological investigation in Egypt is now carefully monitored to make sure that its national heritage remains as safe as possible. New projects are usually approved only in areas that are threatened, such as the wet delta, because the antiquity authorities would just as soon keep other possible sites buried until they can be properly preserved. Therefore, since particularly the 1970s, the use of nondestructive technology has been a necessary means of archaeological investigation, not only on the Giza Plateau, but elsewhere in Egypt.

The Search for Hidden Chambers on the Giza Plateau, Part III: In Search of the Hall of Records by Allen Winston

If any one monument has garnered more attention in the last several decades than Egypt's Great Pyramid of Khufu, it is the Great Sphinx at Giza, probably built by his successor, Khafre, or possibly by Khufu himself. Interest in what lies beneath, within and around the Sphinx has captured the imagination of the public, researchers, writers, theorists, mystics and crazies alike. This frenzy can probably be pinpointed to the predictions by Edgar Cayce in the first half of the 20th Century that the Great Sphinx guarded the Hall of Records, or at least the entrance to it, which contained records of the lost civilization Atlantis brought to Egypt by its survivors.

The Search for Hidden Chambers on the Giza Plateau, Part IV: More Recent Investigations by Allen Winston

In recent headlines (late August, 2004), Gilles Dormion, is once again, with his partner, Jean-Yves Verd'hurt, claiming that a fourth, undiscovered room lies underneath the pyramid's so-called Queen's Chamber in the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza. Dormion and Verd'hurt think that this is likely the burial chamber for Khufu, and that it might contain a wealth of artifacts which could rival or exceed that of Tutankhamun's tomb. To find out, all they need to do is drill a few more holes in Egypt's greatest monument. Dormion has been working in the pyramids of Egypt for 20 years, and his and Verd'hurt's radar analyses in another pyramid, at Meidum, led in 2000 to the discovery of two previously undetected rooms.

Giza Worker's Village by Marie Parsons

The pyramids and their temples were part of the royal cult, and required the dedication and devotion of craftsmen and laborers who believed in their King and their gods. Slaves there may have been. But the pyramids were built by Egyptians, by stonemasons, artisans, artists and craftsmen.

The Great Sphinx of Giza An Introduction by Allen Winston

In a depression to the south of Khafre's pyramid at Giza near Cairo sits a huge creature with the head of a human and a lion's body. This monumental statue, the first truly colossal royal sculpture in Egypt, known as the Great Sphinx, is a national symbol of Egypt, both ancient and modern. It has stirred the imagination of poets, scholars, adventurers and tourists for centuries and has also inspired a wealth of speculation about its age, its meaning, and the secrets that it might hold. The word "sphinx", which means 'strangler', was first given by the Greeks to a fabulous creature which had the head of a woman, the body of a lion and the wings of a bird.

The Old and New Kingdom Sphinx Temples at Giza by Allen Winston

The Great Sphinx is, like many other monuments in Egypt, a complex rather than simply a single colossal statue. At the Sphinx on the Giza Plateau near Cairo, there are actually two Sphinx temples. One of them, directly in front of the Sphinx, dates to the time when the Sphinx monument was built, while the other is of New Kingdom construction. In the older of the two temples, the core blocks are of the same generally poorer quality and more easily eroded limestone as the body of the Sphinx. Thus these temple can be regarded as contemporary with the carving of the monument.

The Meaning of the Great Sphinx of Giza by Allen Winston

Whatever else it might be, the Great Sphinx is certainly not the keeper of long lost knowledge, or ancient technologies, as has been popularly reported over the years. There are surely no hidden chambers holding the secrets of Atlantis between its paws, or elsewhere. What the Great Sphinx is in reality is grand enough. It is a monumental symbol of ancient Egyptian kingship, probably related to solar worship. There was a trend toward colossal stone architecture in Egypt by the middle of the 4th Dynasty, as Khafre took the reigns of kingship.

Saving The Great Sphinx of Giza Restoration and Conservation by Allen Winston

The Great Sphinx, located in Giza on the outskirts of Greater Cairo, is one of the world's most well known and important ancient monuments. To our knowledge, it was and is the largest sculpture ever made in the round from stone. It is also probably the oldest colossal sculpture, and is certainly the oldest existing colossal sculpture. Obviously, its preservation is not only important to Egyptians, but to the world as a whole. Likewise, were it to be lost, its absence would be a devastating blow, for it is certainly not only a colossal monument, but a symbol of mankind's earliest attempts at civilization.

Heliopolis, Egypt's Iunu by Marie Parsons

Heliopolis, or On in Coptic, was the capital of the 13th Lower Egyptian nome. By the time of the Old Kingdom, the city was a center of astronomy as reflected in the title of its high priest, wr-m3w, "Chief of Observers" or "Greatest of Seers. This title was held by Imhotep during the 3rd Dynasty reign of King Djoser Netjerikhet, and dates earlier to the reign of Khasekhemwy in the second dynasty.

The Area of Ancient Heliopolis Today by Jimmy Dunn

The ancient site of Heliopolis lies in the northeastern extreme of greater Cairo in a district known as Mataria, or Matariya. For years, it was mostly so isolated that tourist rarely visited the site. Of course, all that was really there for them to see was a red granite Obelisk belonging to Senusret I (though the oldest in Egypt which originally stood with its twin before the Temple of Amun), some tombs in the area and for the Christian explorers, the nearby Tree of the Holy Virgin. Today, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) is more fully developing the site and indeed, it may someday become a much more important tourist destination.

Heracleum: The Legendary Submerged City by The Egyptian Government

Following years of archeological and sonar surveys in the Gulf of Abu-Qeer, an Egyptian-French expedition recently discovered important antiquities in two sites; the first is Minotis, the eastern suburb of Canup lying 2km off-shore and the second is the city of Heracleum, 6.5km off- shore. Thousands of artifacts, including bronze coins mostly belonging to the Ptolemic era, two gold coins, three colossal statues, two paintings with Greek inscriptions, some jewelry, several day-to-day utensils, earthenware and some amulets were found. Experts have described this find, in economic and tourist terms, as next in importance to the discoveries of Tutankhamun's tomb and the solar boats. The finds were sent to the Roman Museum in Alexandria for restoration and treatment for salty contents.

Hermopolis by Jimmy Dunn

Hermopolis was an important religious center, particularly later in Egyptian history, as well as an important administrative center.

The Horus Military Route in Egypt by the Egyptian Government

Find out more about the Great Horus Military Route in Egypt depicted in the battle relief of King Seti I, with new discoveries.

The Imhotep Museum at Saqqara by Ashraf Mohie El Din & Ruth Shilling

The New Imhotep Museum in Saqqara is a major new museum very near Cairo honoring the monuments of this important site.

Kahun, Middle Kingdom Workers' Village by Marie Parsons

The pyramid now called el-Lahun stands north of the modern town of that name and was built by Senwosret II, c. 1895 BCE, during the period known as the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt. Flinders Petrie, who discovered and excavated the pyramid and its ancient temples and town, gave the name Kahun, since they stood in the vicinity of the modern town of el-Lahun, close to the Faiyum.

The Ruins of Karanis by Jimmy Dunn

The names Karanis and Kom Aushim (Kom Ushim) are often used to denote the same set of ruins in the Fayoum, some fifty miles southeast of Cairo. However, Kom Aushim is actually a small hamlet a few kilometers north of Karanis, where the actual ruins are located. Karanis, or "the Lord's Town", was one of the largest Greco-Roman cities in the Fayoum. It was founded in the third century BC, probably by Ptolemy II Philadelphus, and was originally inhabited by the mercenaries of his army. With a population of some 3,000 people, it continued to prosper for about seven centuries. It began to decline during the troubled times of the fourth and fifth centuries AD.

Old Predynastic Maadi by Jimmy Dunn

The archaeological site of Maadi, for which a modern suburb of Cairo is named, is located on an east-west oriented desert ridge between two wadis at the southern city limits of Cairo. Regrettably, part of this Predynastic site has already been ruined by modern building activities, and the remaining area is under threat from the intrusion of this highly populated area of Egypt. Maadi is not only the name of an ancient Egyptian settlement, but is also used to define a specific culture of the 4th millennium BC, though by the middle of that period it had already been abandoned. It is closely associated with Buto, the other Lower Egyptian stronghold of early civilization which may predate Maadi, and might certainly have existed concurrently with Maadi.

Maidam, Lisht and a Close Encounter with Bauval by Alan Fildes

The fascinating and rewarding journey South along Egypt's main artery to Maidum takes one hour & twenty minutes, passing at first the heavy industrial sites consuming the environs of the metropolitan City of Cairo. One finally arrives at Pharoanic Fayoum where the fields tended by rural farmers are surely little effected since the halcyon days of Nefermaat & Rahotep 4500 years ago.

The Magazines of Amarna Holding the Wealth of Egypt by Jimmy Dunn

Today, much of our wealth is kept in banks with more electronics then gold to back it up. Even if we collect our wealth in the form of currency, little space is required to house neatly stacked bills, but this was not the case in Ancient Egypt. There, wealth might be in the form of fine golden objects and might even be incorporated into various buildings such as temples, but there was still the need to store large portions of Egypt's wealth in the form of commodities and other materials. Food commodities in particular were Egypt's primary wealth, and almost all state and royal establishments were endowed with agricultural estates. At some periods of Egyptian history, more property was owned by temples such as that of Amun at Karnak then by anyone else, and in fact, such estates sometimes took up a majority of Egypt's cultivatable land.

Malkata Today by Jane Akshar

Malkata is the name of the site of the palace of Amenhotep III, which is situated south of Medinet Habu on the West Bank of Luxor. Medinet Habu by Marie ParsonsThe ancient Egyptian name for Medinet Habu, in Arabic the "City of Habu" was Djamet, meaning "males and mothers." Its holy ground was believed to be where the Ogdoad, the four pairs of first primeval gods, were buried. Medinet Habu was both a temple and a complex of temples dating from the New Kingdom.

Medinet Madi (in the Fayoum) by Joerg Reid

It is likely that the typical tourist to Egypt will not, on their first visit, tour the Fayoum region, though for those interested in nature, or fossils, perhaps they should. However, for the antiquities enthusiast, there is simply too many other, perhaps somewhat more convenient sights to see. Yet, the Fayoum does offer many important historical monuments. Many of these date from the Graeco-Roman Period, though others are older, including Medinet Madi, which many consider to be one of the most important temples in the Fayoum.

Memphis of the White Walls by Marie Parsons

The city of Memphis was the royal residence and capital of Egypt during the Early Dynastic period and the Old Kingdom, and remained thereafter one of the most populous and renowned places of Egypt. Its temples, especially one to Ptah, were among the most important in the land.

Ancient Mines & Quarries Jimmy Dunn writing as Virginia Davis

An introduction to ancient Egypt's very important mines and quarries, without which there would be no pyramids or temples.

Mines & Quarries Part II Jimmy Dunn writing as Virginia Davis

More on the Mines and Quarries of ancient Egypt, including expeditions, tools, settlements and how material was moved.

Mount Sinai by Jimmy Dunn

Mount Sinai, and the surrounding area, is steeped in traditions related to the Biblical Exodus, with much more to see than most people really imagine.

Naqada by Marie Parsons

Naqada was the necropolis of the town of Nubt, the town of gold, known in Greek as Ombos. It had been devoted to the god Set, or Set of Nubt, Nubty, as he is called in the Pyramid Texts, and as evidenced by inscribed blocks found at Naqada.

Nekhen, Greek Hierakonpolis by Marie Parsons

The ancient site of this city, called Nekhen by the Egyptians, its Greek name Hierakonpolis meaning city of the falcon, was long venerated by the ancient Egyptians as the early capital of the Kingdom of Upper Egypt.

The Nile by Marie Parsons

The Nile is the longest river in the world, stretching north for approximately 4,000 miles from East Africa to the Mediterranean. The mere mention of the name of the Nile evokes for modern man images of Pyramids, great temples, fantastic tales of mummies, and wondrous treasures. But the Nile represents life itself to the people of Egypt, ancient and modern.

Nikratj (Greek Naukratis, modern Kom Gi'eif) by Jimmy Dunn



Nikratj (Greek Naukratis, modern Kom Gi'eif) was a Milesian Greek settlement on the Canopic branch of the Nile in the Western Delta. However, scholars believe that Corinthians may have early on inhabited the city, with the Milesian Greeks arriving later. The City is located about 16 km from Sais, the capital of the 26th Dynasty. Nearby, there is a modern village that seems to have preserved the ancient name as el-Niqrash. Herodotus tells us that Ahmose II gave the site to the Greeks, along with a monopoly on sea trade to Egypt. He also tells us that it was the first and only city in which the early Greek merchants were allowed to settle and so from that standpoint along the city has considerable historical importance.

The North Palace at Amarna (Ancient Akhetaten) by Jimmy Dunn

Conjecture surrounds the excavated structure in northern Amarna (ancient Akhetaten) known as the North Palace and not to be confused with the nearby building known as the Riverside Palace. At best, we believe that the structure was eventually converted into a palace for Akhenaten's oldest daughter, Princess Meritaten, and may have previously been the home of one of his queens (perhaps Nefertiti, but now thought to be Kiya). It could very well be that the future king, Tutankhamun was raised in this palace. However, the origins of the building are more obscure and some scholars believe it may have once served as perhaps a retreat for the king as a sort of zoological garden where he could satisfy his love of nature.

Nubia, Its People, History & Traditions by the Egyptian Government

Find out more about the ancient land of Kush just south of Egypt, and the modern Nubian culture of Egypt.

An Overview of the West Bank at Luxor (Ancient Thebes) Jimmy Dunn writing as Mark Andrews

The west bank at Luxor is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. It is much more than what we refer to as the Valley of the Kings, though many have called the whole of the area by that name. In fact, many good books on the west bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes) are titled, "Valley of the Kings", even though they cover the entire area. It can be a bit confusing for the novice, particularly considering the actual conceptual scope of the religious concept. If one looks at just the Valley of the Kings, one only sees tombs, but the tombs were an integral part of larger mortuary complexes. Indeed, the whole west bank is honeycombed with tombs, not just of the ancient Egyptian Kings, but of their families and the noblemen who served them.

Palace of the Sun King by Dr. Joann Fletcher

Although the ancient Egyptians are best known for the monumental tombs and temples they built profusely, far less is known about the actual homes in which they lived their lives. This is mainly due to the fact that they built their housing close to the banks of the river Nile, whereas their tombs and temples were situated away from the limited arable land on the desert edge. And since these temples and tombs were regarded as houses of eternity, designed to last 'millions of years', they were built from hard stone, in contrast to the houses of the living which were made of easily available mud brick. Take a look at the ancient palaces with Dr. Joann Fletcher.

Pelusium (Tell el-Farama), the Sinai by Jimmy Dunn

Pelusium is well known as Egypt's eastern gateway, an ancient fortress community that saw considerable military action on the old and famous Horus Road.

Petra, Part I: The History and Relationship with Egypt by John Southland

Petra, Jordan is a popular extension for many tour to Egypt, particularly when visiting the Sinai. This is a unique, pink and salmon colored 2,000 year old rock-carved city that served as the capital of the Nabataean Arabs and flourished form any hundreds of years. At its peak, Petra, which means "stone or rock" in Greek, may have had a population of between twenty and thirty thousand people. It is most famous for "The Treasury", otherwise known as Khasneh (Khazne Faraoun).

Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria by Jimmy Dunn

So impressive was ancient Egypt's building efforts over the pharaonic period that it commanded two wonders of the ancient world. One, the Great Pyramid of Giza, was built near the beginning of Egyptian history, while the second, Seventh Wonder was mostly built by one of Egypt's last pharaohs, Ptolemy I Sorter, though he died prior to its completion. While the first still stands, the latter was destroyed, almost certainly by an earthquake. This was Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria, which of the vanished wonders of the ancient world, was the last built and the last to remain standing.

A Town on Lake Mariut South of Alexandria, Egypt Tentatively Identified as Philoxenite by Jimmy Dunn

The ancient town, tentatively identified as Philoxenite, is located on the southern shore of Lake Mariut, a few kilometers south-east of Plithine near Alexandria. The town has often been identified with Marea, an ancient town which has not yet been identified. Though a team from Alexandria University has devoted several seasons to excavating the harbor area, and a Polish team has been working in other areas of the city, the site remains mostly untouched since antiquity, even though early travelers were aware of the ruins.

Plinthine on Lake Mariut in Egypt by Jimmy Dunn

Plinthine and its necroplis are located on Lake Mariut just about a kilometer east of Taposiris near Alexandria on Egypt's north coast. This small, ancient Greek town stood on a prominent position on a rocky, horseshoe shaped outcrop. Just below this mound, one can just make out the course of the main street through the remains that are still visible on the surface. It descends towards the lake, and other roads are also visible that run at right angles. Here, houses that were laid out in tiers along the slope facing the lake are also visible. This town, like Taposiris, is oriented more towards the traffic on the lake than towards the sea coast.

The Wonderful Land of Punt by Jimmy Dunn

To the ancient Egyptians, the land of Punt, with its reed, beehive shaped houses raised on stilts above water, was the most exotic and mysterious of places to visit, and from which to receive visitors, for more than once the Royalty of Punt came to the court of the Pharaoh in Egypt. It seems to have been considered by them a most unique haven; an emporium of goods for both king and gods, and gradually acquired an air of fantasy, like that of an Eldorado or Atlantis.

Qantir, Ancient Pi-Ramesse Jimmy Dunn writing as Monroe Edgar

The modern village of Qantir (Khatana-Qantir) marks what was probably the ancient site of Ramesses II's great capital, Pi-Ramesse or Per-Ramesses ("House or Domain of Ramesses"). This city is situated about 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) north of Faqus in Sharqiya province of the eastern Nile Delta (about 60 miles north-east of Cairo). It is known that Ramesses II moved the ancient Egyptian capital from southern Egypt into the Delta, probably both to escape the influence of the powerful priests at Thebes, and to be nearer to the costs of modern Turkey and Syria in order to protect Egypt's borders. The location of this city, well known from documentation, was long in question.

Qasr Ibrim in ancient Nubia by Jimmy Dunn

Prior to the construction of the High Dam south of Aswan, Qasr Ibrim stood on the highest of three headlands on the east bank of the Nile some 70 meters above the River. Today, it is usually an island, though at times the lake as revealed a land bridge joining the island to the shore. Today, this complex is the last on Lake Nasser prior to Abu Simbel, but visitors may only gaze upon it from the comforts of a Lake Nasser Cruise boat, as it is no longer accessible by tourists. However, the Egypt Exploration Society does continue work on the site, as they have since 1959. Qasr is Arabic for "fort" so in English its name means Fort of Ibrim. Its name is ultimately derived from its ancient Meroitic name, Pedeme. In classical texts it was called Primis and in Coptic, Phrim, which was corrupted to Ibrim in Arabic.

Qasr al-Zayyan in the Kharga by Jimmy Dunn

Qasr al-Zayyan is one of the major ruins in of the Kharga Oasis, and is both an ancient Roman fortress and Temple.

Recent Excavations in the Valley of the Kings by the Amarna Royal Tombs Project by Glen Parry

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to visit the Valley of the Kings recently will have noticed that it is once again a hive of activity. Glen Parry leads Tour Egypt readers through a tour of the project.

Reminiscences of Saqqara by Alan M. Fildes

A few of my favorite ancient Egyptian sites are within the vast necropolis of what is today called Saqqara, the burial grounds for the noble populace of ancient Memphis (Ineb hedj, White Wall). This area's history spans time from the Archaic to Coptic times, over 3500 years of activity ( c 3200 to 500 ad ). From the crude to the magnificent, Saqqara caters to every student of Ancient Egyptian History. Over the years since my earliest exhilarating visit in December 1979, I have enjoyed the drive from Cairo along the main north/south route that turns west and is flanked by fig palm clad fields approaching the awesome Step Pyramid.

Roman Theatre in Alexandria by Seif Kamel & Zahraa Adel Awed The Roman Theatre in Alexandria is part of a major archaeological area, and it seems to be giving up more of its secrets.

The Royal Estate in Central City at Amarna (Ancient Akhetaten) by Jimmy Dunn

Despite the elaborateness of the royal complex located in Central City at Amarna, Egyptologists do not, for the most part, appear to believe this to be the principal residence of the heretic king, Akhenaten in his capital. Rather, they believe this distinction belongs to the North Palace. However, he likely spent considerable time at this location. Today, little remains of the royal estate that spanned both sides of the Royal Road, though after extensive investigation, we do have a very good idea of the layout with regards to its various components. To the east of the Royal Road in Central City at Amarna is a royal estate laid out opposite the official palace across the road. It consisted of what we refer to as the King's house, an enclosure surrounding a garden, the Royal or Small Aten Temple, priests' quarters and various storage magazines.

Sais (Sa el-Hagar) Jimmy Dunn writing as John Warren

Sais, known as Zau in ancient Egyptian and today as Sa el-Hagar, is located in Egypt's Delta. It was the county's capital during the 26th Dynasty late in Egypt's history and was at various other times an important center. The city is known from the very beginning of Egyptian history from wooden labels associated with King Aha. It was probably always the capital of the 4th Lower Egyptian nome, which, until the 12th Dynasty, also incorporated what was to become the 4th nome. However, the city really came into a prominent position towards the end of the 8th century BC when Tefnakhte and Bocchoris (24th Dynasty) rivaled the Nubian kings of the 25th Dynasty. It was also a major center for the worship of the Goddess Neith.

The Sakakini Palace in Cairo by Lara Iskander

The Sakakini Palace is a hidden wonder among many in Cairo, now open to the public and perhaps very soon to become a museum related to ancient health care.

Sakkara (Saqqara), Egypt - A Special Edition by Jimmy Dunn

Learn More about Sakkara, one of the primary Pharaonic concentrations in Egypt.

The Temple and Mines at Serabit el-Khadem In the Sinai Jimmy Dunn writing as Monroe Edgar

While the Egyptians seem to have known, crossed and visited the Sinai even before the dynastic period, we have found little evidence of their building activities in the region. Of course, inhabitable areas are usually small, and scarce, and so have been inhabited and built upon continuously over the ages. It is probable that what was built has been built over many times. Today, wondering through the Sinai and viewing its unusual landscape, it is not difficult to imagine a land rich in minerals. Egyptians discovered its mineral wealth very early on, perhaps at the beginning of the dynastic period. Archaeologists have found that the very earliest known settlers in the Sinai, about 8,000 years ago, were miners. Drawn by the region's abundant copper and turquoise deposits, these groups slowly worked their way southward, hopping from one deposit to the next. By 3500 BC, the great turquoise veins of Serabit el-Khadem had been discovered.

The Serapeum of Saqqara by Jimmy Dunn

Serapeum is a name usually applied to building that were associated with the cult of the Apis bulls, or the later composite god, Serapis. We actually know of two Serapeums, one located at Saqqara and the other in Alexandria. The one at Saqqara was more closely related to the Apris bulls, while the Alexandria Serapeum served as a cult center of Serapis. In reality, these two complexes served very different purposes, the Serapeum in Alexandria being more Greek in origin, while the one at Saqqara was built at least as early as the 18th dynasty. In this article we will focus on the earlier structure at Saqqara. The legendary Serapeum is where the sacred bulls of Apis are buried. Worship of the Apis bull was a late development.

The History of the Siwa Oasis by Jimmy Dunn

Siwa, like the other Western Oasis, has had a number of different names over the millenniums. It was called Santariya by the ancient Arabs, as well as the Oasis of Jupiter-Amun, Marmaricus Hammon, the Field of Palm Trees and Santar by the ancient Egyptians.. We believe it was occupied as early as Paleolithic and Neolithic times, and some believe it was the capital of an ancient kingdom that may have included Qara, Arashieh and Bahrein. During Egypt's Old Kingdom, it was a part of Tehenu, the Olive Land that may have extended as for east as Mareotis.

Sunken Treasures by Egyptian Government

Egypt attaches great importance to sunken antiquities under its waters. They are a source of the country's history and treasures. Sunken antiquities sites are now one of Egypt's most significant tourist attractions and the destination of divers from all over the globe. Sunken monuments are obviously an integral part of the history of the archaeological coastal cities, parts of which still exist on land, but most of Egypt's ancient harbors are now lying in the depth of its waters. Recent archaeological excavations for sunken antiquities revealed mysterious secrets about the submerged ancient coastal cities in the eastern port of Alexandria and the Northern Coast. An old city dating back to the Greco-Roman period has also been discovered off the northern coasts of Sinai in addition to shipwreck sites that have been explored at Ras-al-Bar, Damietta, and Southern Sinai.

The Sun Temple of Niuserre by Jimmy Dunn

The Sun Temple of Niuserre, conveniently located near Cairo at Abu Ghurab, is really a one-of-a-kind monument, being by far the most complete of the two such structures unearthed in Egypt.

The Sun Temple of Userkaf at Abusir by Jimmy Dunn

Though ruined to the point that Egyptologists can hardly make out its ground plan, the Sun Temple of Userkaf is nevertheless very important as the first known royal structure at Abusir, and one of two remaining Sun Temples

Tanis (El-Hagar) by Jimmy Dunn

Tanis is considered to be probably the most important archaeological site in Egypt's northern Delta, probably because it is one of the largest and certainly the most impressive of the sites in the Delta. It was the capital of the nineteenth Lower Egyptian nome in the late period (747-332 BC). First Auguste Mariette excavated the site in 1860-80, then Flinders Petrie excavated here in 1883-86 and Pierre Montet excavated in 1921-51. The site is still being excavated by the French today. Montet thought that the site was Piramesse, the capital Sety I and Ramese II, but later findings proved him wrong.

Taposiris Magna on Lake Mariut South of Alexandria, Egypt by Jimmy Dunn

Taposiris Magna, one of the ancient towns located on Lake Mariut, is today called Abusir. Its ancient name implies that it was a tomb of Osiris, and therefore was one of numerous places where one of the scattered parts of that god's body was buried after being dismembered by his brother Seth. Isis, of course, also had a strong following in the Taposiris. The town site may have been inhabited since Predynastic times, and during the Persian Period in Egypt, it became the capital of the petty kingdom of Marea.

Tebtunis in the Fayoum by Jimmy Dunn

An ancient city, Tebtunis is one of the ruins in the Fayoum, and the home to a once grand temple dedicated to Soknebtunis, a local form of the crocodile god, Sobek, who became a well known deity of several Fayoum locals.

Thebes by Marie Parsons

The ancient name for the city the Greeks called Thebai was Waset, the Scepter nome, and it was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome. It was close to Nubia and the eastern desert, with their valuable mineral resources and trade routes. The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand, and the western bank, where are the large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes.

The Valley of the Kings by Marie Parsons

The first king of the New Kingdom, Ahmose of the 18th Dynasty, built a pyramid-like structure at Abydos, which may or may not have been his original tomb. But all the remaining rulers of the period, except for the so-called Amarna interregnum, had their tombs cut into the rocks of the West Bank at Thebes, specifically at the Valley of the Kings. From Tuthmosis I in the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom period, all the kings, and occasionally high officials of that period, were buried in the secluded wadi, or dry gully, which today is called Valley of the Kings.

The Yam of Egypt's Old Kingdom by Jimmy Dunn

A region, featured in Egypt's oldest narrative of foreign travel dating to the 23rd century BC, is that of Yam. Apparently, Yam was a transfer point for trade with the Sudan and other African regions and a source of tropical precious wood and ivory.This account was recorded on the tomb facade of Harkhuf, the governor of Elephantine, who recorded his adventures during the 6th Dynasty. He traveled, not once, but four times to yam, leading an expedition apparently into Nubia south of Egypt.

Last Updated: June 8th, 2011

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