October 12, 2012

Saqqara and Memphis Facts

Saqqara
This is one of the richest archaeological sites in Egypt. It preserves ancient relics from all periods of ancient Egyptian history. Those described in this book include the royal tombs of the 1st dynasty , Zoser’s Step Pyramid Complex, 5th and 6th dynasty tombs of noblemen decorated in painted relief, and the pyramids of the 6th-dynasty pharaohs which contain columns of inscribed hieroglyphics painted in blue and known as the Egyptian Pyramid Texts.
Saqqara Egypt
Another highlight at Saqqara is the Serapeum, or Apis Tombs. These are a series of subterranean galleries, hewn out of solid rock containing the remains of bulls. Though the Apis bull was regarded as sacred in Memphis from early times, the Serapeum has not been discussed in this study since the Apis cult only developed in exaggerated form in the Egyptian New Kingdom. The first common grave dates to the reign of the 26th dynasty pharaoh Ramses II, a new gallery was excavated in the reign of the 26th dynasty pharaoh Psamtik I, and the main gallery (which unites the whole into a vast sepulchre) to Ptolemaic times.

Memphis
Little remains of the site of ancient Egyptian Memphis, the White Wall, Egypt’s first capital and one of the most famous and populous capitals of antiquity. What we know of the ancient capital comes largely from the necropolis of Sakkara and from the Step Pyramid complex built by Imhotep for the Zoser King.

Old Memphis Egypt
Memphis succumbed to a civil war after the fall of the Egyptian Old Kingdom, a barbaric invasion by the Hyksos after the fall of the Middle Kingdom, and a shift in centralised power when Thebes became capital in the New Kingdom. It also suffered ransacking by the Libyans, beseiging by the Sudanese, plundering by the Persians, the fanaticism of the early Christians and final destruction at the hands of the Arab conquerors who transported stone slabs, marble and alabaster monuments to lay the foundations of Cairo. The ruins of many Egyptian temples however, attest to the size of the ancient city. Those of the Temple of Ptah can be traced in its ground-plan some 501 yards to the north of Mit Rahina (a small village near a palm grove). It was here that two colossal statues of Ramses II were found. They probably graced the entrance to the ancient Temple of Ptah in the New Kingdom. One statue, found lying face downwards in the sand and in a perfect state of preservation, was transported to Station Square, Cairo, in 1955; it weighs 65 tons. The other is still in Memphis in a protective structure.

(It should perhaps be mentioned that the ancient city of On, the Heliopolitan city of the Sun-god, was also almost totally destroyed. All that remains are the few ruins of the enclosure wall of the Egyptian Sun Temple and a single obelisk of Aswan granite.)

Related Web Search : 
  • Saqqara Pyramid
  • Pyramid of Saqqara
  • Saqqara Egypt
  • Saqqara Step Pyramid
  • Saqqara Tombs
  • Saqqara Map 
  • Memphis

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