Tanis – Tanis, Egypt - Atlas Obscura


Tanis, Egypt

The once great capital of Egypt now crumbles forward as evocative ruins. 


Empires rise and empires fall but few have left such beautiful and mysterious ruins as the ancient Egyptians, and many of the most fascinating finds in the region come from the “lost” city of Tanis.

Known to the ancient Egyptians as Djanet, the city served as the capital to the 21st and 22nd Egyptian dynasties thanks to its strength as a commercial center. The settlement was located right on the Nile which gave the prosperous populace access to water and trade that most other cities of the time could barely rival. Unfortunately this “middle” period in Egyptian history was defined by political upheaval which made the city socially unstable and combined with the shifting waters of the Nile, Tanis soon fell off of the map.

Extensive accounts of the ancient city were discovered in other areas of Egypt but the actual ruins of Tanis seemed to elude archaeologists, leading to the belief that it was a “lost city.” However in 1939, a French archeologist uncovered a pristine burial tomb from the city which contained a wealth of artifacts and jewelry rivaled by almost no other Egyptian archaeological site.

The royal tombs and the accompanying temple are now all that remains of the once great city of Tanis, but the immeasurable knowledge we have gained from just its scant few remnants speaks to how grand this Egyptian capital must have been. 

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