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Temple of the WorldSanctuaries, Cults, and Mysteries of Ancient Egypt$
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Miroslav Verner

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789774165634

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774165634.001.0001

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Memphis: The White Wall

Memphis: The White Wall

(p.89) (p.90) (p.91) 3 Memphis: The White Wall
Temple of the World

Miroslav Verner

American University in Cairo Press

Memphis, that famous metropolis of ancient Egypt, is a city of huge temples, obelisks, and colonnades, of avenues of sphinxes, palaces, and administrative buildings. It is also the city in which luxurious residences of Egyptian magnates and foreign envoys at the court of the pharaohs were built, and a city in which the coronations of the Egyptian kings were once held. At the height of its glory it was home to around a hundred thousand people. Where has it gone? At its foundation the city was given the name of Ineb hejd or ‘White Wall’ because initially it was less a town than a fortress surrounded by a massive wall built either of limestone or of plastered and whitened mud bricks. The fortress was probably encircled by a water channel connected with the Nile. Despite archaeological excavations and surveys of Memphis, archaeological evidence of the White Wall has still to be discovered. Many of the main monuments of the once huge city of Memphis archaeologists have not been able to locate. Where is the oldest Temple of Ptah, one of the most important Egyptian gods? In accordance with the ideas of the ancient Egyptians, there was a cult of the bull Hapi (Apis in Greek) regarded as the earthly embodiment of the ‘life force,’ of the god Ptah. During his lifetime, the sacred bull resided in Memphis and then buried in the Serapeum.

Keywords:   Memphis, The White Wall, Temple of Ptah, Hapi, Apis, Serapeum, animal cult, Miroslav Verner

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