The city of Tanis is comparatively unknown among Egypt's wealth of historical sites, although it yielded one in every of the best archaeologic troves ever found. Once the capital of all Egypt, Tanis's royal tombs have yielded artifacts on par with the treasures of Tutankhamun. The treasures found within the "lost city" of Tanis rival those of King Tut's. however, for over six decades the wealth from its rulers' tombs has remained for the most part unknown.
Tanis The Ancient City of Egypt
Tanis was well-known by several names. Ancient Egyptians referred to it as its town, and also the Old Testament refers to the location as Zoan. these days it's referred to as Sân el-Hagar.
The site, within the Nile Delta northeast of Cairo, was the capital of the twenty-first and twenty-second dynasties, throughout the reign of the Tanite kings in Egypt's Third Intermediate amount.
The city's advantageous location enabled it to become a loaded industrial center long before the increase of Alexandria. however political fortunes shifted, and so did the river's waters—and in recent centuries the Tanis website had become a silted plain with some hill-like mounds thought to be of very little interest.
It was well-known that the traditional town was hidden somewhere within the space, however not wherever.
"People unbroken making an attempt to spot totally different places with it," aforesaid Salima Ikram, an academic of archaeology at Yankee University in Cairo and a National Geographic Society recipient.
Tanis The Lost City
Egypt's "intermediate periods" were times of weak central government once power was divided and typically passed out of Egyptian hands. throughout this point, the rulers of Tanis were of Libyan good, not scions of ancient Egyptian families. That distinction could have contributed to the city's disappearance in later years.
"It's not just like the depression of the Kings, wherever everybody knew they'd been hiding [pharaohs] for 10 generations more or less," aforesaid David Silverman, Associate in Nursing archeologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
Lost, Then Found
In 1939 a French anthropologist named the capital of South Dakota Montet brought Tanis into the twentieth century once nearly a dozen years of excavations. He unearthed a royal spot complicated that enclosed 3 intact and undisturbed burial chambers—a rare and marvelous notice.
The tombs control dazzling joyless treasures like golden masks, coffins of silver, and elaborate sarcophagi. alternative precious things enclosed bracelets, necklaces, pendants, tableware, and amulets.
Statues, vases, and jars additionally crammed the tombs, all a part of the Associate in Nursing array that also bears witness, once thousands of years, to the ability and wealth of Tanis's rulers.
One of the kings, Sheshonq II, was unknown before Montet discovered his tomb. however he wore elaborate jewelry that after adorned the additional celebrated Sheshonq I, World Health Organization is mentioned within the Bible.
"That shows you that [the kings of Tanis] were vital a minimum of throughout that point amount," Silverman aforesaid of the biblical reference.
Tanis was found for the most part because it was abandoned, therefore the town is home to several anthropology treasures additionally to the tombs. Temples, together with a Temple of Amun and a Temple of Horus, are found. Even urban districts of the traditional town stay, and also the website continues to host anthropology expeditions in search of additional finds.