Perring, John Shae ; Andrews, E. J. [Editor]
The pyramids of Gizeh: from actual survey and admeasurement (Band 3): The pyramids to the southward of Gizeh and at Abou Roash... — London, 1842

Page: Beschreibung_der_Tafeln_02
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Memphis, the capital of Lower Egypt, is supposed to have been built by Menes, the earliest king of the country.
Diodorus describes it to have been nineteen miles in circumference; and his account is in some degree confirmed by the remains
of buildings and of foundations. This great extent most probably occasioned the contradictory statements given by antient
historians of its relative distance from the neighbouring places. Notwithstanding the antient grandeur of Memphis, Edrisi,
who wrote in the twelfth century, says that it was then an insignificant place, and indeed it may be supposed to have supplied
materials for the building of Cairo. Abou el Fedeh, however, 200 years afterwards, mentions extensive ruins, consisting of
great blocks inscribed with figures; and at the village of Metrahenni a large tank may now be traced, near the foundations of
a building, which appears to have been the temple of Ptah or Vulcan, mentioned by Herodotus, and by other antient historians;
and a colossal statue near it was probably the image of Rameses, said to have been erected before the Temple.* The city
appears to have extended to the northward of the Temple; but, as it was built upon low ground, the foundations have probably
been covered by the annual deposit of the river.

Mons Psammius, near the above-mentioned city, was that part of the Libyan Mountains, upon which the Pyramids of Saccaraf
are built; and the Serapium was placed, according to Strabo, upon the plain near it; but no vestiges of it have been

Venus Aueea. Diodorus speaks of a field called " Venus Aurea" in the neighbourhood of Memphis; and an old site near
the river, as I have already mentioned, is now called Gezeeret el Dahab (the golden island or field), which seems to be a
translation of the antient name.

Busiris. This name was applied to various places in Egypt, where Osiris was worshipped in the form of an ox. The
Busiris mentioned by Pliny has been generally supposed to have been at Abouseir, on account of the similarity of name; but,
as the situation of that place appears to have been included within the city of Memphis, the name may be supposed to have
marked the site of a temple dedicated to Osiris within the city; and if, as Pliny describes, Busiris was opposite the Great Pyramid
of Gizeh, it may with more propriety be supposed to have been at an old site upon the adjacent plain, near the village of Kom
el Eswith {the black mound).

Acanthus. The Egyptian name of this town is not known, but it is mentioned by Diodorus, Strabo, and Ptolemy; and
Strabo assigns to it a temple of Osiris, and a sacred grove of Egyptian thorn (the acanthus of the Greeks). Groves of these
trees are now to be met with between Saccara and Dashoor, and the town was most probably, therefore, situated on the edge
of the desert near the hamlet of Yowyet el Dashoor.

Peme, or Pemeau is stated, in the " Itinerary," to have been twenty miles from Memphis. About this distance a place, called

Bemah, has been constructed upon an antient site, and the Pyramids and a cemetery near them appear to establish the antiquity
of the spot.


According to Ptolemy, it was divided from the Nomos Memphitis by the river, which probably flowed near Kafoor el
Gazaala, where a canal from the Bahr Yousef intersects the cultivated land.

Isidis Oppidum, Issiu, or Iseum, was, by the "Itinerary," forty miles from Memphis, probably at the site now occupied by the
modern village of Zowyet el Masloob.

Nilopolis, where there was a temple dedicated to the Nile, under the personification of Osiris, and under the title of Bousiris,
seems to have been at a place called Abouseir el Melik. Near it are the remains of an antient dyke constructed with masonry, and
other works of considerable magnitude; and in the adjacent rocks are excavated tombs, but they do not appear to contain inscriptions.

Ptolemais, called Ptolemaido in the " Theodosian Table," is described by Ptolemy to have been near the entrance to the
Arsinoite Nome. It is now called Illahoon, and is at the entrance into the Faioum. The sluice for the admission of the
waters into the canal called Bahr Yousef is evidently built on ati antient foundation, and the shafts near the Pyramids seem
to have formed the cemetery of the antient city.

Veano. In the "Theodosian Table" we find that the distance from Veano to Ptolemaidon Arsinoitum was six miles. If six be sup-
posed to be a mistake for eleven, the distance would coincide with that of some antient mounds, upon which is a village called Wennee.

Poushin, or Boushin according to the Coptic, was at Boosh.

Phannisjoit appears to have been near Pouchin, and, according to Champollion, it was at the modern village of Zaytoon the
word Phannisjoit signifying in the Coptic, as Zaytoon in the Arabic, a place of olives.

Ikemen, under the Emperor Diocletian, was a military post near the above-mentioned places,

C^ene was at Benisouef. The only notice of it is in the " Itinerary of Antoninus," which states that it was about twenty
miles from Isiu.

Heeacleopolis Magna. The capital of this nome was, by the " Theodosian Table," six miles south of Ptolemais; and antient
mounds and foundations near the village of Ahnas agree with this distance.


This district was so called by the Greeks, but by the Egyptians Piom, because it was marshy and full of water. Under the
Lagidse the province, as well as the capital, was called Arsinoe. It is now known by the name of Faioum, which seems to be a
corruption of its Egyptian name. The chief town, Medeenet el Faioum, is to the southward of the site of the antient Arsinoe.




The plane follows the dotted line AAA, and shews the elevations and positions of the Pyramids, the levels of high and of
low Nile in 1837 and in 1838, and also of the water in the shafts Nos. 1, 2, and 3, in the well near the palm-trees, and in the
Well of Sweet Water near the tents; and the depth of the foss in Campbell's Tomb. The shaft, which was sunk in the sub-
terraneous apartment in the Great Pyramid in 1838, is also marked.

A considerable quantity of water must evidently have been required for the consumption of the people employed in building
the Pyramids, and likewise for the mortar used in their construction; and it has been conjectured, with great probability, that the
Nile, or a considerable branch of it, flowed in former times immediately below the Libyan Mountains. The water, therefore,

which had forced its way into the sepulchral shafts, and which supplied the wells, was naturally supposed to proceed from the
river; but upon investigation it appears to have some other source, and, as the quantity of rain which fell was totally inadequate,
the supply seemed to proceed from a spring. In that case it would be the only spring hitherto discovered in Egypt, and it
would therefore account for the reputed sanctity of the spot, and for the history of the shepherd Philistis, and of his flocks, &c.
The origin of the water cannot be completely ascertained, till the sand is removed, and the subterraneous passages and antient
quarry ings are well examined; but the following observations are worthy of notice: —

* This statue was excavated by Signore Caviglia, and presented by the late Mr. Sloane, Vice-consul at Alexandria, to the British Museum.

f The name of the deity of Memphis was Pthah Sakari.
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