|Location||Qantir, Al Sharqia Governorate, Egypt|
|Area||18 km2 (6.9 sq mi)|
|Founded||13th century BCE|
|Abandoned||Approximately 1060 BCE|
|Periods||New Kingdom to Third Intermediate Period|
Pi-Ramesses ( // ; Ancient Egyptian: Per-Ra-mes(i)-su, meaning "House of Ramesses") was the new capital built by the Nineteenth Dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses II (1279–1213 BC) at Qantir, near the old site of Avaris. The city had served as a summer palace under Seti I (c. 1290–1279 BC), and may have been founded by Ramesses I (c. 1292–1290 BC) while he served under Horemheb.
In 1884, Flinders Petrie arrived in Egypt to begin his excavations there. His first dig was at Tanis, where he arrived with 170 workmen. Later in the 1930s, the ruins at Tanis were explored by Pierre Montet. The masses of broken Ramesside stonework at Tanis led archaeologists to identify it as Pi-Ramesses. Yet it eventually came to be recognised that none of these monuments and inscriptions originated at the site.
In the 1960s, Manfred Bietak recognised that Pi-Ramesses was known to have been located on the then-easternmost branch of the Nile. He painstakingly mapped all the branches of the ancient Delta and established that the Pelusiac branch was the easternmost during Ramesses' reign while the Tanitic branch (i.e. the branch on which Tanis was located) did not exist at all. Excavations were therefore begun at the site of the highest Ramesside pottery location, Tell el-Dab'a and Qantir. Although there were no traces of any previous habitation visible on the surface, discoveries soon identified Tell el-Dab'a as the Hyksos capital Avaris. Qantir was recognized as the site of the Ramesside capital Pi-Ramesses. 30 km (19 mi) to the south of Tanis; Tell el-Dab´a, the site of Avaris, is situated about 2 km (1.2 mi) south of Qantir.Qantir/Pi-Ramesses lies some
In 2017, archaeologists from the Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum unearthed footprints of children at the bottom of a mortar part,as well as pieces of painted wall, possibly fresco pending further study, believed to have served as decoration at the site of a palace or temple.
Ramesses II was born and raised in the area, and family connections may have played a part in his decision to move his capital so far north; but geopolitical reasons may have been of greater importance, as Pi-Ramesses was much closer to the Egyptian vassal states in Asia and to the border with the hostile Hittite empire. Intelligence and diplomats would reach the pharaoh much more quickly, and the main corps of the army were also encamped in the city and could quickly be mobilised to deal with incursions of Hittites or Shasu nomads from across the Jordan.
Pi-Ramesses was built on the banks of the Pelusiac branch of the Nile. With a population of over 300,000, it was one of the largest cities of ancient Egypt. Pi-Ramesses flourished for more than a century after Ramesses' death, and poems were written about its splendour. According to the latest estimates, the city was spread over about 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi) or around 6 km (3.7 mi) long by 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. Its layout, as shown by ground-penetrating radar, consisted of a huge central temple, a large precinct of mansions bordering the river in the west set in a rigid grid pattern of streets, and a disorderly collection of houses and workshops in the east. The palace of Ramesses is believed to lie beneath the modern village of Qantir. An Austrian team of archaeologists headed by Manfred Bietak, who discovered the site, found evidence of many canals and lakes and have described the city as the Venice of Egypt. A surprising discovery in the excavated stables were small cisterns located adjacent to each of the estimated 460 horse tether points. Using mules, which are the same size as the horses of Ramesses' day, it was found a double tethered horse would naturally use the cistern as a toilet leaving the stable floor clean and dry.
It was originally thought the demise of Egyptian authority abroad during the Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt made the city less significant, leading to its abandonment as a royal residence. 100 km (62 mi) to the north-west of Pi-Ramesses, as the new capital of Lower Egypt. The pharaohs of the Twenty-first Dynasty transported all the old Ramesside temples, obelisks, stelae, statues and sphinxes from Pi-Ramesses to the new site. The obelisks and statues, the largest weighing over 200 tons, were transported in one piece while major buildings were dismantled into sections and reassembled at Tanis. Stone from the less important buildings was reused and recycled for the creation of new temples and buildings.It is now known that the Pelusiac branch of the Nile began silting up c. 1060 BCE, leaving the city without water when the river eventually established a new course to the west now called the Tanitic branch. The Twenty-first Dynasty of Egypt moved the city to the new branch, establishing Djanet (Tanis) on its banks,
The forty-seventh chapter of the biblical Book of Genesis states that the Hebrews were given the Land of Goshen to reside in but also that Joseph settled his father and brothers in the best part of the land, in the land of Rameses. The Book of Exodus mentions "Ramesses" as one of the cities on whose construction the Israelites were forced to labour (Exodus 1:11) and from where they departed on their Exodus journey (Exodus 12:37 and Numbers 33:3). Understandably, this Ramesses was identified by biblical archaeologistsof the nineteenth century with the Pi-Ramesses of Ramesses II. Still earlier, the 10th-century Bible exegete Rabbi Saadia Gaon believed that the biblical site of Ramesses had to be identified with Ain Shams. When the 21st Dynasty moved the capital to Tanis, Pi-Ramesses was largely abandoned and the old capital became a quarry for ready-made monuments, but it was not forgotten: its name appears in a list of 21st Dynasty cities, and it had a revival under Shishaq, usually identified with the historical pharaoh Shoshenq I of the 22nd Dynasty (10th century BCE), who tried to emulate the achievements of Ramesses. The existence of the city as Egypt's capital as late as the 10th century BCE makes problematic the reference to Ramesses in the Exodus story as a memory of the era of Ramesses II; and indeed, the shortened form "Ramesses", in place of the original Pi-Ramesses, is first found in 1st millennium BCE texts.
The Bible describes Ramesses as a "store-city". The exact meaning of the Hebrew phrase is not certain, but some have suggested that it refers to supply depots on or near the frontier. This would be an appropriate description for Pithom (Tel El Maskhuta) in the 6th century BCE, but not for the royal capital in the time of Ramesses, when the nearest frontier was far off in the north of Syria. Only after the original royal function of Pi-Ramesses had been forgotten could the ruins have been re-interpreted as a fortress on Egypt's frontier.However, Pi-Ramesses was built upon and absorbed the older city of Avaris, which was the site of enormous storage facilities, including numerous silos.
| Capital of Egypt |
1279 BC - 1078 BC
The land of Goshen is named in the Bible as the place in Egypt given to the Hebrews by the pharaoh of Joseph, and the land from which they later left Egypt at the time of the Exodus. It was located in the eastern Delta of the Nile, lower Egypt; perhaps at or near Avaris, the seat of power of the Hyksos kings.
The Crossing of the Red Sea, or Hebrew: קריעת ים סוף, romanized: Kriat Yam Suph, lit. 'parting of the Sea of Reeds' forms an episode in the biblical narrative of The Exodus.
Merneferre Ay was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the mid 13th Dynasty. The longest reigning pharaoh of the 13th Dynasty, he ruled a likely fragmented Egypt for over 23 years in the early to mid 17th century BC. A pyramidion bearing his name shows that he possibly completed a pyramid, probably located in the necropolis of Memphis.
Hyksos is a term which, in modern Egyptology, designates the kings of the Fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt. The seat of power of these kings was the city of Avaris in the Nile delta, from where they ruled over Lower and Middle Egypt up to Cusae. In the Aegyptiaca, a history of Egypt written by the Greco-Egyptian priest and historian Manetho in the 3rd century BC, the term Hyksos is used ethnically to designate people of probable West Semitic, Levantine origin. While Manetho portrayed the Hyksos as invaders and oppressors, this interpretation is questioned in modern Egyptology. Instead, Hyksos rule might have been preceded by groups of Canaanite peoples who gradually settled in the Nile delta from the end of the Twelfth Dynasty onwards and who may have seceded from the crumbling and unstable Egyptian control at some point during the Thirteenth Dynasty.
Tanis is the Greek name for ancient Egyptian ḏꜥn.t, an important archaeological site in the north-eastern Nile Delta of Egypt, and the location of a city of the same name. It is located on the Tanitic branch of the Nile, which has long since silted up. The first study of Tanis dates to 1798 during Napoléon Bonaparte's expedition to Egypt. Engineer Pierre Jacotin drew up a map of the site in the Description de l'Égypte. It was first excavated in 1825 by Jean-Jacques Rifaud, who discovered the two pink granite sphinxes now in the Musée du Louvre, and then by François Auguste Ferdinand Mariette between 1860 and 1864, and subsequently by William Matthew Flinders Petrie from 1883 to 1886. The work was taken over by Pierre Montet from 1929 to 1956, who discovered the royal necropolis dating to the Third Intermediate Period in 1939. The Mission française des fouilles de Tanis (MFFT) has been studying the site since 1965 under the direction of Jean Yoyotte and Philippe Brissaud, and François Leclère since 2013.
The history of ancient Egypt spans the period from the early prehistoric settlements of the northern Nile valley to the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. The pharaonic period, the period in which Egypt was ruled by a pharaoh, is dated from the 32nd century BC, when Upper and Lower Egypt were unified, until the country fell under Macedonian rule in 332 BC.
The New Kingdom, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire, is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the sixteenth century BC and the eleventh century BC, covering the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth dynasties of Egypt. Radiocarbon dating places the exact beginning of the New Kingdom between 1570 BC and 1544 BC. The New Kingdom followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period. It was Egypt's most prosperous time and marked the peak of its power.
Avaris was the Hyksos capital of Egypt located at the modern site of Tell el-Dab'a in the northeastern region of the Nile Delta. As the main course of the Nile migrated eastward, its position at the hub of Egypt's delta emporia made it a major capital suitable for trade. It was occupied from about the 18th century until its capture by Ahmose I.
Pithom was an ancient city of Egypt. Multiple references in ancient Greek, Roman, and Hebrew Bible sources exist for this city, but its exact location remains somewhat uncertain. A number of scholars identified it as the later archaeological site of Tell El Maskhuta. Others identified it as the earlier archaeological site of Tell El Retabeh.
Jean Pierre Marie Montet was a French Egyptologist.
Kheperkare Nakhtnebef, better known by his hellenized name Nectanebo I, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, founder of the last native dynasty of Egypt, the 30th.
Labib Habachi was an influential Coptic Egyptian Egyptologist.
Tell el-Dab'a is an archaeological site in the Nile Delta region of Egypt where Avaris, the capital city of the Hyksos, once stood. Avaris was occupied by Asiatics from the end of the 12th through the 13th Dynasty. The site is known primarily for its Minoan frescoes.
Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom, itself the most powerful period of Ancient Egypt. His successors and later Egyptians called him the "Great Ancestor".
The Bible makes reference to various pharaohs of Egypt. These include unnamed pharaohs in the history of the Israelite settlement in Egypt, the subsequent oppression of the Israelites, and the period of the Exodus. They also include several later rulers, some of whom can be identified with historical pharaohs.
Qantir (Khatana-Qantir) is a village in Egypt. Qantir is believed to mark what was probably the ancient site of the 19th Dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses II's capital, Pi-Ramesses or Per-Ramesses. It is situated around 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) north of Faqous in the Sharqiyah province of the eastern Nile Delta, about 60 miles north-east of Cairo.
Sekhemrekhutawy Khabaw was an Egyptian pharaoh of the early 13th Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period.
Shenshek was a ruler of some part of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, possibly during the 17th century BC, and likely belonging to the 14th Dynasty. As such he would have ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well. His chronological position and identity are unclear.
Many naval bases were located in and around Egypt in the ancient times of this world. The particular naval base of Peru-nefer was one of the bases established in the Eighteenth Dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt. Perunefer is, according to Manfred Biatek, identified with Tell el-Daba/ Ezbet Helmy. Support for this theory comes from excavations and digs that were conducted around the area the naval base was believed to be.
Ramesses, also commonly spelled Rameses or Ramses, is the name conventionally given in English transliteration to 11 Egyptian pharaohs of the later New Kingdom period. Other variants of the name include Ramose and Paramessu; these various spellings could be used to refer to the same person.