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Tanis (?????), the Greek name of ancient Djanet (modern ??? ????? ??n al-?a?ar), is a city in the north-eastern Nile delta of Egypt. It lays on the Tanitic branch of the Nile (now silted up).


Tanis was founded in the late Twentieth dynasty, and became the northern capital of Egypt during the following Twenty-first dynasty. It was the home city of Smendes, founder of the 21st dynasty. During the Twenty-second dynasty Tanis remained as Egypt's political capital (though there were sometimes rival dynasties located elsewhere in Upper Egypt). It was an important commercial and strategic city until it was threatened with inundation by Lake Manzala in the 6th century AD, when it was finally abandoned. The refugees founded the nearby city of Tennis.


There are ruins of a number of temples, including the chief temple dedicated to Amun, and a very important royal necropolis of the Third Intermediate Period (which contains the only known intact royal Pharaonic burials - the tomb of Tutankhamun having been entered in antiquity). Many of the stones use to build the various temples at Tanis came from the old Ramesside town of Qantir (ancient Pi-Ramesses/Per-Ramesses), which caused many former generations of Egyptologists to believe that Tanis was, in fact, Per-Ramesses.

The chief deities of Tanis were Amun, his consort, Mut, and their child Khonsu, forming the Tanite triad. This triad was, however, identical to that of Thebes, leading many scholars to speak of Tanis as the "northern Thebes".


In the film Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tanis was said to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant which was hidden in a secret chamber in Tanis. Tanis was inaccurately depicted as a lost city, having been destroyed in a sand storm and buried until 1936 when it was discovered by a German expedition outside of Cairo.X.


  • Brissaud, Phillipe. 1996. "Tanis: The Golden Cemetery". In Royal Cities of the Biblical World, edited by Joan Goodnick Westenholz. Jerusalem: Bible Lands Museum. 110–149.
  • Kitchen, Kenneth Anderson. [1996]. The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100–650 BC). 3rd ed. Warminster: Aris & Phillips Limited.

  • Yoyotte, Jean. 1999. "The Treasures of Tanis". In The Treasures of the Egyptian Museum, edited by Francesco Tiradritti. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press. 302–333.

External links

Template:Ancient Egyptar:??? ????? bg:????? ca:Tanis de:Tanis es:Tanis (Egipto) fr:Tanis hr:Tanis it:Tanis (Egitto) pl:Tanis (Egipt) pt:Tanis ru:????? sv:Tanis

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tanis".

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