Memphis became the capital of Ancient Egypt for over eight consecutive dynasties during the Old Kingdom.
The city reached a peak of prestige under the 6th dynasty as a centre for the worship of Ptah, the god of creation and artworks.
Memphis was believed to be under the protection of the god Ptah, the patron of craftsmen.
Its great temple, Hut-ka-Ptah (meaning "Enclosure of the ka of Ptah"), was one of the most prominent structures in the city.
Its eventual downfall is believed to be due to the loss of its economic significance in late antiquity, following the rise of coastal Alexandria.
Its religious significance also diminished after the abandonment of the ancient religion following the Edict of Thessalonica.
Capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom, it remained an important city throughout ancient Egyptian history.
This name appears to date from the Middle Kingdom (c.The city was also the place that marked the boundary between Upper and Lower Egypt. Estimates of historical population size differ widely between sources.(The 22nd nome of Upper Egypt and 1st nome of Lower Egypt). According to Tertius Chandler, Memphis had some 30,000 inhabitants and was by far the largest settlement worldwide from the time of its foundation until around 2250 BCE and from 1557 to 1400 BCE.The city of Memphis is 20 km (12 mi) south of Cairo, on the west bank of the Nile.The modern cities and towns of Mit Rahina, Dahshur, Abusir, Abu Gorab, and Zawyet el'Aryan, south of Cairo, all lie within the administrative borders of historical Memphis ().Memphis declined briefly after the 18th dynasty with the rise of Thebes and the New Kingdom, and was revived under the Persians before falling firmly into second place following the foundation of Alexandria.