Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Visit to Memphis

The ruins of the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis do not compare to the Giza Pyramids or the Valley of the Kings as a tourist destination, but most tours of Egypt visit Memphis for a half day and there are some interesting things to see.

For instance, there is a Dynasty 26 embalming site that was probably once a part of a major temple. It is thought that the Apis bulls were mummified here before being buried at Sakkara. The attached photos show a general view of the embalming area (Photo 1), a view of a large embalming table (photo 2) that had a drain on one end to let any fluids from the embalming process flow off the table (photo 3).

There is also a row of small embalming tables (?) nearby which are decorated with a carved image of a lion headed "couch" similar to the one found in the Antechamber of the tomb of Tutankhamen (photos 4 and 5).

Dynasty 26 is not the best known dynasty in Egyptian history. It was founded somewhere around 650 B. C., by an official who served under the Assyrian Kings after their invasion of Egypt, an invasion which pushed the Nubian Kings out of Egypt. Psamtik I started out with a powerbase in the Delta, from which he expanded his empire until he had re-united the country. The dynasty ended with the Persian invasion of Egypt by Cambyses.

No comments:

Post a Comment