Cities of Egypt

Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses for kids - Ancient Cities of Egypt

Facts about the history, locations and significance of the ancient Cities of Egypt

Cities of Egypt
Discover the history surrounding the ancient Cities of Egypt, the ancient settlements and cities on the Nile River. The major ancient cities of Lower Egypt were Memphis, Alexandria, Hermopolis, Giza, Esna (Letopolis), Busiris, Avaris, Crocodilopolis, Tanis, Leontopolis, Sais, Bubastis and Heliopolis. The main cities of Upper Egypt (in the south) were Thebes, Abydos, Thinis, Khmun (Hermopolis), Dendera, Hierakonpolis, Koptos, Edfu, Elephantine and Aswan. Upper and Lower Egypt had its own kings and
Pharaohsuntil the unification of Egypt c3100BC. Maps detailing the location of the ancient Cities of Egypt.

Lower Egypt

Upper & Lower Egypt

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Major Ancient Cities of Egypt
The major ancient cities of Cities of Egypt are detailed in the following chart and show whether they were located in either Upper or Lower Egypt. The confusing terminology describing the lands of "Upper" and "Lower" Egypt derives from the flow of the River Nile. The Nile river flows from the higher, or upper, lands of Africa in the south of Egypt down to the lower lands to the Mediterranean Sea in the north.

  • Lower Egypt = Nile Delta region of the north
  • Upper Egypt = Nile Valley region of the south

Major Ancient Cities of Egypt

Ancient Cities of
Lower Egypt (north)


Ancient Cities of
Upper Egypt (south)

Esna (Latopolis)
Khmun (Hermopolis)
Kom Ombo

Facts about ancient Cities of Upper Egypt (in the South)
Interesting facts about the history, geography and the gods and goddesses of the Upper kingdom are detailed in the Fact Sheet on the ancient Cities of Egypt.

Cities of Egypt Fact Sheet - Facts about the Cities of Upper Egypt (South)

Names of Ancient Cities of Egypt - Facts about Ancient Cities of Egypt

Fact 1 on the Cities of Egypt: Thebes (Luxor & Karnak) - Thebes Definition: The capital city and home of the ruling dynasties during the Middle and New Kingdoms. It is the site of the major temples of Luxor and Karnak. The cult center of the Triad of Thebes consisting of Amun, his consort Mut, and her son, Khonsu. The Valley of the Kings and Queens is located in the desert necropolis on the west bank of the Nile opposite Thebes.

Fact 2 on the Cities of Egypt: Abydos - Abydos Definition: Abydos was the site of an Ancient Egyptian city and burial place of the early Egyptian kings. The mythical burial place of the god Osiris and his cult center. The most famous of the royal monuments at Abydos include that of the Temple of Seti I and the mortuary complex of Queen Tetisheri. A sacred center of worship notably to the gods Anubis and Osiris with other shrines dedicated to Isis, Horus, Amun Ra and Ptah.

Fact 3 on the Cities of Egypt: Thinis - Thinis Definition: Thinis was the capital city of the first dynasties of ancient Egypt. The first Pharaohs were buried in Thinis. Thinis declined in importance from Dynasty III, when the capital was relocated to Memphis. Thinis was the cult center of the war god Anhur. The archaeological site of Thinis has never been located

Fact 4 on the Cities of Egypt: Dendera - Dendera Definition: Dendera, located south of Abydos was the cult center for the goddess Hathor. The Dendera Temple complex contains the Temple of Hathor, one of the best preserved temples.

Fact 5 on the Cities of Egypt: Hierakonpolis - Hierakonpolis Definition: Hierakonpolis, 'City of the Hawk' that worshipped the god Horus. Its ancient Egyptian names was Nekhen and it was the religious and political capital of Cities of Egypt at the end of the Predynastic period and the Early Dynastic Period

Fact 6 on the Cities of Egypt: Koptos - Coptus or Koptos Definition: Coptos was an important trading and religious center. Its principal deity was Min, a sky god. Isis and Horus were also worshipped at Coptos.

Fact 7 on the Cities of Egypt: Edfu - Edfu Definition: The beautiful Temple of Horus, the hawk-headed god is situated at Edfu, that dates from the Old Kingdom

Fact 8 on the Cities of Egypt: Elephantine - Elephantine Definition: Elephantine is an island in the River Nile situated at Aswan standing at the border between Egypt and Nubiaand was the cult center for the three gods Khnum, Satet the war goddess of the flood or inundation and their daughter Anuket, the goddess of the cataracts. Elephantine was the capital of the state and for many years was the outer post of the Ancient Egyptian empire. The Nile god Hapi was worshipped at Elephantine Island

Fact 9 on the Cities of Egypt: Khmun (Hermopolis) - Khmun (Hermopolis) Definition: The city of Hermopolis was an important religious center and had its own version of the creation myth in order to stress the pre-eminence of their favored gods, including Thoth as the creator god. The Ogdoad of Hermopolis (the Egyptian Khmunu) was a cult center worshipping aquatic gods represented by frogs and the goddesses represented by snakes consisting of four pairs of deities: Amun and Amaunet, Heh and Hehet, Kek and Keket, and Nun and Naunet.

Fact 10 on the Cities of Egypt: Kom Ombo (Ombos) - Kom Ombo Definition: Kom Ombo was originally an Egyptian city called Nubt, meaning City of Gold and controlled trade routes from Nubia to the Nile Valley. The perfectly symmetrical Kom Ombo temple was built by Tuthmosis III primarily in honor of the crocodile-headed god Sobek but the gods Hathor, Khonsu and Horus the Elder.

Fact 11 on the Cities of Egypt: Esna (Latopolis) - Esna (Latopolis) Definition: Esna is located approx 45 km south of Luxor (ancient Thebes) and the location of the Temple of Khnum. Esna was the cult center of the Triad of Latopolis consisting of Khnum, Neith and Heka. The temple of Esna was dedicated to the worship of these gods.

Fact 12 on the Cities of Egypt: Hermonthis - Hermonthis, now the modern town of Armant, was an important city during the period of the Middle Kingdom and the cult center of the god Menthu. Menthu the ancient god associated with raging bulls, strength and war. The Bucheum was the burial place of the sacred Buchis bulls of Hermonthis, is located on the desert edge north of the city.

Fact 13 on the Cities of Egypt: Naqada - Naqada was one of the three main centers in pre-dynastic times and a cult center for the god Set. Called Nubt, or Town of Gold, because of its ties with gold and copper mines in the Eastern Desert.

Fact 14 on the Cities of Egypt: Heraklepolis - Heraklepolis Definition: Heraklepolis was the Greek rendition of the name of the city and was taken in reference to Herakles or Hercules (famous in the ancient Greek myths that followed the Egyptian civilization). The city of Heraklepolis, aka Hnas, became religious center of the cult of the creator god Heryshaf, and the Temple of Heryshaf was constructed in the early Middle Kingdom.

Fact 14 on the Cities of Egypt: Aswan - Aswan Definition: The First cataract at Aswan marked the Southern border where the River Nile flows north until it reaches the Mediterranean Sea. The most famous places to visit in Aswan are the Aswan Dam High Dam, the Temple of Isis and the Rock temples of Ramses II and his wife, Queen Nefertari. The Aswan High Dam project threatened the Temples at Philae and Abu Simbel. The Temple of Isis and other important buildings on the island of Philae were transported to the island of Agilkia. The rock temples of Abu Simbel were moved 180 metres inland.

Facts about ancient Cities of Upper Egypt (in the South)
Interesting facts about the history, geography and the gods and goddesses of the Upper kingdom are detailed in the Fact Sheet on the ancient Cities of Egypt.

Cities of Egypt Fact Sheet - Facts about the Cities of Lower Egypt (North)

Names of Ancient Cities of Egypt - Facts about Ancient Cities of Egypt

Fact 15 on the Cities of Egypt:Memphis - Memphis Definition: The city was associated with Menes, Narmer and King Hor-Aha  around 3000 BC and it was the capital during the Old Kingdom. The two main centers of religion were Heliopolis and Memphis. The Triad of Memphis centred around the Cult of Ptah, his wife Sekhmet and their son was Nefertem but many other gods were also worshipped in the city

Fact 16 on the Cities of Egypt:Alexandria - Alexandria Definition: The city of Alexandria was founded after the conquest of Alexander the Great. It became famous for the Great Library and the great Lighthouse of Pharos in Alexandria, both of which were destroyed.

Fact 17 on the Cities of Egypt:Hermopolis (Khmunu) - Hermopolis Definition: The city of Hermopolis was an important religious center with its own version of the creation myth in respect of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis  which consisted of 4 pairs of aquatic gods represented by frogs and cobras. The names of the gods of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis were Amun and Amaunet, Heh and Hehet, Kek and Keket, and Nun and Naunet. The city was also the cult center of Thoth. Currently there is a small open air museum in which there are two massive statues of Thoth as a baboon worshipping the sun

Fact 18 on the Cities of Egypt:Giza - Giza Definition: The famous location of the sphinx and the Great Pyramid of Cheops at Giza. The pyramids the monumental tombs of the Pharaohs Khufu aka Cheops, Khafre, and Menkaure's Pyramid. Inside the pyramids were tomb chambers, ante-rooms and chambers, ventilation shafts and access tunnels. The sheer size of the Sphinx is colossal, standing taller than a six-story building and is is 57 metres (260 feet) long, 6 m (20 ft) wide, and has a height of 20 m (65 ft). The sphinx is a mythical beast with the head of a man and the body of a lion (Androsphinx), often symbolizing the pharaoh as an incarnation of the sun god Ra. The Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza are situated high on the Giza plateau.

Fact 19 on the Cities of Egypt:Busiris - Busiris Definition: Busiris was the cult center of Osiris in the Nile Delta. The ruins of the Temple of Isis are still visible.

Fact 20 on the Cities of Egypt:Rosetta - Rosetta Definition: The famous Rosetta Stonewas found in 1799 at Rosetta (Rashid) in the Nile Delta. The large black basalt stone was etched with a royal decree which had the same messages written in three different languages: Ancient Greek, hieroglyphics, and demotic (the language of the ancient Egyptians). Jean-Francois Champollion became known as the translator of the Rosetta Stone. It has been on public display at the British Museum since 1802.

Fact 21 on the Cities of Egypt:Sais - Sais Definition: Sais became the seat of power during the Twenty-fourth dynasty (c. 732720 BC). The city's patron goddess was Neith, whose cult was based in the city. Sais had a medical school associated with it

Fact 22 on the Cities of Egypt:Crocodilopolis - Crocodilopolis Definition: Crocodilopolis, "Crocodile City", was the cult center of Sobek the Egyptian crocodile god who symbolized the might of the Egyptian pharaohs. Faiyum was particularly noted as a center of his worship, where one of the towns came to be called 'Crocodilopolis' by the Greeks. Its native Ancient Egyptian name was Shedyet.

Fact 23 on the Cities of Egypt:Buto - Buto Definition: Buto originally was two cities, Pe and Dep, which merged into one city that the Egyptians named Per-Wadjet. Wadjet was the Egyptian snake goddess of Buto and was the site of a famous oracle. The city also contained a sanctuary of Horus and much later, became associated with Isis. Nefertum, the god of perfume, was also worshipped in his primary cult centers at Buto and Memphis. At Buto, in the Nile delta region, he was said to have been the son of the cobra goddess, Wadjet.

Fact 24 on the Cities of Egypt:Bubastis - Bubastis Definition: Bubastis was the Greek name for Tell Basta in Egypt which was also known as Per-Bast or Per-Bastet and is located in the Eastern Delta of the River now the modern city of Zagazig. It was the cult center of Bastet the goddess of cats.

Fact 25 on the Cities of Egypt:Avaris - Avaris Definition: Avaris (modern-day Tell el-Daba was the capital of Egypt under the Hyksoswho were people believed to be from northern Canaan, who controlled this area and made their capital at Avaris on the Nile Delta

Fact 26 on the Cities of Egypt:Leontopolis - Leontopolis Definition: Leontopolis  means, "City of Lions" as there were many temples dedicated to the lion gods and deities which contained live lions and cats. It was famous as a cult center of the lion gods associated with Ra the sun god. Leontopolis was located in the central area of the Nile delta. The ancient Egyptian name for Leontopolis was Taremu.

Fact 27 on the Cities of Egypt:Mendes - Mendes Definition: Mendes was the Greek name of the Ancient Egyptian city of Djedet and was the capital of the 16th Lower Egyptian nome of Kha. The chief gods of Mendes were the goat (ram) deity Banebdjedet and his consort, the fish goddess Hatmehit with their child "Horus the Child" formed the Triad of Mendes

Fact 28 on the Cities of Egypt:Tanis - Tanis Definition: Tanis was the site of the now San-el-Hagar, called Djananet. The chief deities of Tanis were Amun, his consort, Mut, and their child Khonsu, forming the Tanite Triad and become known as Thebes of Lower Egypt as the same three gods were worshipped as the Triad of Thebes.

Fact 29 on the Cities of Egypt:Letopolis - Letopolis Definition: Ausim (Letopolis) is located only about 13 kilometers northwest of Cairo, and is the location of the ancient Egyptian town of Khem. Its principle god was Horus the Elder, who was worshiped as Khenty-khem ("foremost of khem"), the patron of the blind.

Fact 30 on the Cities of Egypt:Saqqara - Saqqara Definition: Saqqara is the location of the famous Step Pyramid of King Djoserand was used as the main cemetery for royalty and nobles who lived in Memphis.

Fact 31 on the Cities of Egypt:Heliopolis - Heliopolis Definition: The ancient city of Heliopolis "City of the Sun" was extremely important as a religious center and was once the largest city dating back to pre-dynastic times. It is located in the north-eastern extreme of greater Cairo and was believed by the ancient Egyptians to be the birthplace of the sun god Atum the "Lord of Heliopolis" and the first nine Egyptian gods known as the Ennead of Heliopolis, the divine family consisting of Atum (Ra), Geb, Isis, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Set, Shu and Tefnut.

Cities of Egypt Fact Sheet - Facts about the Cities of Lower Egypt

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