The Lost City of Thinis, First Capital of a United Egypt

Thinis was a city of the ancient Egyptian civilization. The existence of Thinis is attested by ancient authors, such as Manetho, widely believed to have been an Egyptian priest who lived during the Ptolemaic period. Reference to Thinis is made also in religious texts, such as certain spells found in the The Book of Going Forth by Day (better known as the Book of the Dead ). In spite of references to this city in the literary sources, the exact location of Thinis is still unknown, and therefore remains a great mystery amongst archaeologists and Egyptologists. As a result of this, Thinis is often called a ‘lost city.

1st Dynastic King of Egypt, Menes or Narmer.

First Capital

The 1 st Dynasty of Egypt was established when Upper and Lower Egypt were united under the rule of one pharaoh. According to the writer Manetho, the founder of the 18 th Dynasty was a man by the name of Menes (who is today identified with Narmer, once thought to have been his successor). This pharaoh is said to have been the leader of a tribal confederation known as the Thinite Confederacy. When Upper and Lower Egypt were united, Menes made Thinis his capital, and ruled the country from there.

During the Third Dynasty, the city of Memphis was established, and this became Egypt’s new capital. As a result of this shift, the importance of Thinis suffered a decline. Nevertheless, despite losing its status as the capital of Egypt, Thinis was still a regionally significant urban centre, and served for some time as the capital of the eighth nome in Upper Egypt. It would eventually be replaced by Abydos as the capital of this nome.

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Nearby Abydos (Osireion pictured), after ceding its political rank to Thinis. ( CC BY-SA 2.5 )

Lasting Wealth

The written sources indicate that Thinis was still a city of great wealth, even long after it ceased to be the capital of Egypt. During the reign of Thutmose III, the 6 th pharaoh of the 18 th Dynasty, the yearly tax imposed on Thinis is recorded to have included six debens of gold, half a deben of silver, as well as produce such as grain, cattle, and honey. The wealth of Thinis is evident when compared to nearby Abydos, which was taxed more lightly. For instance, Abydos was required to pay three debens of gold each year, which is half of that paid by Thinis. As another example, whilst Abydos was taxed three sacks of grain per year, 62 sacks were required of Thinis. It may be added that the city was not only prosperous, but was also a regional powerhouse. It is recorded, for example, that the ruler of the Thinite province, a man named Antef, controlled the entire oasis region of the Western Desert, the produce of which would have increased the wealth of Thinis.

Hunefer's Book of the Dead, detail from Anubis to Thoth. (Steven Zucker/ CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )

Religious Significance of Thinis

Thinis also has a significant role in the religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians. This city has been referred to in some of the spells from the Book of Going Forth by Day . Spell 18, for instance, contains the following words,

‘O Thoth who didst vindicate Osiris against his enemies, vindicate (Name) against his enemies in the great Council that is in Abydos on this night of the h3kr-feast (at) the counting of the dead, at the stocktaking of the Blessed, when dancing took place at Tjeni.’

In another spell, Spell Pleyte 168, the following invocation is seen,

‘Raise thyself, Thinite of the Netherworld, in the form of thy (Son) Horus, that he may be pleased with thee.’

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Although Thinis is well-attested in the written sources, the exact location of the ancient city remains a mystery. Archaeologists have yet to unearth this city, and are only able to speculate as to where it might be situated. It has been suggested that Thinis would have been located close to Abydos, and the most likely candidate is the modern day city of Girga. Another likely candidate is the modern city of el-Birba. The discovery of this lost city would indeed enhance our understanding of the ancient Egypt’s Early Dynastic period.


Thinis (Greek: Θίνις Thinis, Θίς This Egyptian: Tjenu Coptic: Ⲧⲓⲛ [1] Arabic: ثينيس ‎) was the capital city of the first dynasties of ancient Egypt. Thinis remains undiscovered but is well attested by ancient writers, including the classical historian Manetho, who cites it as the centre of the Thinite Confederacy, a tribal confederation whose leader, Menes (or Narmer), united Egypt and was its first pharaoh. Thinis began a steep decline in importance from Dynasty III, when the capital was relocated to Memphis, which was thought to be the first true and stable capital after unification of old Egypt by Menes. Thinis's location on the border of the competing Heracleopolitan and Theban dynasties of the First Intermediate Period and its proximity to certain oases of possible military importance ensured Thinis some continued significance in the Old and New Kingdoms. This was a brief respite and Thinis eventually lost its position as a regional administrative centre by the Roman period.

Due to its ancient heritage, Thinis remained a significant religious centre, housing the tomb and mummy of the regional deity. In ancient Egyptian religious cosmology, as seen (for example) in the Book of the Dead, Thinis played a role as a mythical place in heaven. [2]

Although the precise location of Thinis is unknown, mainstream Egyptological consensus places it in the vicinity of ancient Abydos and modern Girga. [3] [4] [5]

Cleopatra VII – The Last Queen of Egypt

In 52 BC, Cleopatra VII became queen of Egypt. She is known for having been a very able and effective queen. She was able to work shrewdly with Roman generals and leaders to advance the interests of her kingdom.

In 48 BC, the Roman general Julius Caesar chased his rival, Pompey, to Egypt where Pompey was eventually murdered by Egyptian courtiers. After the death of Pompey, Caesar met with Cleopatra and she took him on a tour of Egypt up the Nile during the summer of 47 BC. Soon after Julius Caesar returned to Rome, Cleopatra became pregnant and claimed that the child was Caesar’s.

She named the child Caesarion. She eventually came to Rome to meet with Caesar again. Whatever plans Caesar and Cleopatra may have had were interrupted when he was assassinated in 44 BC. After this, Cleopatra quickly returned to Egypt.

Cleopatra and her son Caesarion at the Temple of Dendera. (Oltau / CC BY-SA 3.0 )

The Ptolemies became important in Roman politics again a few years later in 36 BC when Mark Antony, the rival of Octavian, the future Augustus Caesar, became romantically involved with the queen of Egypt. Cleopatra soon became involved with Mark Antony’s plan to defeat Octavian and this eventually led to the Battle of Actium in 31 BC.

The battle did not go well for Mark Antony and Cleopatra . They were forced to withdraw to Alexandria where they awaited the arrival of their victorious nemesis.

Before Octavian arrived in August of 30 BC, they both agreed to commit suicide. Cleopatra is said to have died by being bitten by an asp. Cleopatra’s suicide ended Ptolemaic rule in Egypt after 275 years.

Ancient Egyptian Gods

The city includes units behind zigzag walls a bakery and more. Egypt announced on Thursday the discovery of what it termed the Lost Golden City in the southern province of Luxor with one US-based egyptologist describing the find as the biggest archaeological discovery since Tutankhamuns tomb nearly a century ago.

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Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a 3000 year-old city in Luxor Egypt Picture.

Ancient egypt lost city. Scientists say the city is 3000 years old and excavation work to uncover it began last September. Archaeologists have found a Lost Golden City thats been buried under the ancient Egyptian capital of Luxor for the past 3000. The city named The Rise of Aten was.

Appearing in a few rare inscriptions and ancient texts the city of Thonis-Heracleion was hidden away for thousands of years submerged deep under the sea. An ancient Egyptian city thought to have been lost to time has been uncovered in what is being called the most important find since King Tutankhamuns lavish tomb was unearthed nearly a. Archaeologists unearthed a 3000-year-old lost golden city in Egypt.

Egyptian archeologists have unearthed a 3000-year-old lost city complete with mud brick houses artifacts and tools from pharaonic times. Archaeology experts have said discovery of Aten called the lost golden city is the largest ancient city uncovered in Egypt. The History Of The Lost Underwater City Of Heracleion.

Noted archeologist Zahi Hawass said an Egyptian mission discovered the mortuary city in the southern province of Luxor. Ancient Egypts Pompeii found as archaeologists uncover 3400-year-old lost golden city Experts describe the site as ancient Egypts Pompeii due to how well it has been. It dates back to what is considered a golden era of ancient Egypt the period under King Amenhotep III of the 18th dynasty.

A group of archaeologists has found the largest ancient city ever discovered in Egypt dating back 3000 years. Zahi Hawass Center For Egyptology via Reuters. Zahi Hawass Center for EgyptologReuters A g e n c e F.

An archaeological discovery named the Lost Golden City is seen in Luxor Egypt. Archeologists are digging entire neighbourhoods out of the sand near Luxor. A 3400-year-old lost city was unveiled in Egypts Luxor on Saturday April 10 a find which archaeologists hail as the most significant since the discovery of Tutankhamuns tombI call it lost city because it was lost no one really believed that the city could exist hereRenowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass and a team originally began searching for a mortuary temple in SeptemberWithin.

The ancient city was found near some of Egypts best-known monuments The discovery of a 3000-year-old city that was lost to the sands of Egypt has been hailed as one of the most important. Nearly 1200 years ago the Heracleion city disappeared below the water of the Mediterranean sea. The city is the biggest ever found in the country and was used by its famous boy king Tutankhamun.

The Golden City of Luxo. Zahi Hawass CenterEPA Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 3000-year-old Lost Golden City. Located on the western bank of the city of Luxor the recently discovered lost city has been described as being the most significant Egyptian find since King Tuts tomb was found.

It was founded by king Amenhotep III who ruled Egypt from 1391 till 1353 BC at the height of its empire. A LOST Ancient Egyptian city has been uncovered after 3000 years and experts have hailed it the most important discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun. A 3400-year-old lost golden city has been discovered in Egypt.

A man cover a skeleton in a 3000-year-old lost city in Luxor province Egypt Saturday April 10 2021. Lost golden city of Luxor discovered by archaeologists in Egypt The 3400-year-old royal city was built by Amenhotep III abandoned by his heretic son Akhenaten and contains stunningly. The lost city which is called Aten was actually found by accident as archaeologists were.

The newly unearthed city is located between. The city was one of the most ancient cities in Egypt which was founded around 800 BC even before the foundation of Alexandria in 331 BC.

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Tanis: The 2nd-Hand Capital with the First Rate Treasure. Gayle Gibson

Tanis: Was it really pharaoh’s treasure city of the Exodus?

When Indiana Jones set out to find the Lost Ark in Tanis, (modern San el-Hagar) he had picked a fine spot for treasure hunting. This ancient city was once filled with the best of Egyptian sculpture from all periods, and gold and silver jewelry and coffins, some second hand, to rival King Tut’s. There are so many obelisks with the name of Ramesses II that many fine Egyptologists were convinced it was his capital city, Avaris. Was Tanis really pharaoh’s treasure city of the Exodus? After two hundred years of plunder and excavation, modern studies are confirming some old theories about this city in the Delta, and revealing other aspects of ancient life that may surprise you. Tonight we’ll visit Tanis and see what’s new about what’s old.

Gayle Gibson is a respected Canadian Egyptologist and a Departmental Associate at the Royal Ontario Museum. She worked for over 20 years as a popular teacher, lecturer and Egypt specialist at the ROM and appears frequently on television as a “guest expert”. Her main area of expertise as an Egyptologist concerns mummies and their coffins. Ms. Gibson was partially responsible for identifying Pharaoh Ramesses I, (Ramesses II’s grandfather!) among the forlorn mummies at the old Niagara museum, and giving him an assist on the road home to Egypt.

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10 Epic Lost Cities You Won’t Believe

Lost Cities have always been fascinating to people. A lost city is a settlement that began to decline until it became uninhabited. Some have rediscovered but the location of many lost cities still remains a mystery. Many lost cities were known only as myths until they were discovered sometimes even by accident. Many lost cities were once huge powerhouses before falling into decline, and eventually being left completely.


Teotihuacan was one of the largest cities in the world at one time, and had a population of 125,000, but at some point his it’s location was lost, and it was simply of the Mayan’s lost cities. Teotihuacan is famous for it’s many enourmous pyramids. Teotihuacan was mmuch more complicated then most cities of it’s time. Houses were built to fit multiple families, and were much more complicated than most houses around this time. How the city was turned to ruin isn’t exxaclty known. Scholars used to believe that it was burned by attackers, but then thought it more likely it was burnt in an internal uprising.

Turquoise Mountain

The Turquoise Mountain or Firozkoh is a lost ancient city. It was once he capital of the ancient Ghorid dynasty, in the Ghor province of Central Afghanistan. This city was said to be truly magnificent and possibly even the greatest city of it’s age. A great city can easily become a target for those who wish to have it themselves. It was attacked by Ogedei Khan, in the early 1200’s and it’s location lost. Ogedei Khan was the third son of Genghis Khan, and the second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. Since it’s rediscovery looters have pillaged it completely, and sold much of what was found there in markets.

Yamatai a lost city in Japan, and one of the few lost cities in the world which is still undiscovered. Yamatai was not only a city, but also a country. The ruler of Yamatai was Queen Himiko. Ancient Chinese texts describe the Yamatai people. Then Japan was known as Wa. “In the middle of the Lo-lang sea there are the Wa people. They are subdivided into more than a hundred ‘countries’ Depending on the season they come and offer tribute”. The Wa people went through decades of fighting until finally appointing Himiko to be their queen. Many groups at the time came together to form the Yamatai. Historians have been debating the location of Yamatai for over 200 years, and expect it to be either Northern Kyushu, or Yamato Province in the Kinki region of central Honshu.

Calakmul is an ancient Mayan city hidden deep in the jungle. The Jungle is home to lots of lost cities including this one, many which are also Maya lost cities. The city is located in the Mexican state of Campeche. When it comes to the Maya Lowlands, this Calakmul was one of the most powerful, and cities it ever had. The city had an enourmous territory, we know this because it’s emblem has been found spread over a large area. Because of this snake symbol, Calakmul is known as the city of the snake, or to some, snake head city.

Leptis Magna

Leptis Magna was a great city in the Roman Empire. The ruins of this once great city are located in Lybia. This was among the lost cities of Africa for over 900 years, before it was finally rediscovered. The ruins were excavated, and even though this is one of the best preserved ruins of an ancient roman city, it is doesn’t attract any tourists what so ever. It’s an abandoned ghost city. Leptis Magna was once ruled by Septimius Severus. In 1000 BC the city was born, from a group of Berbers, and Phoenicians. The town came to fame when Carthage became a major superpower.

Pi Ramesses

Pi-Ramesses is one of the lost cities once ruled by the ancient Egyptians. The city itself was ruled by Ramesses the Great, who reigned from 1279 to 1213. The city used to be a summer palace for Seti I. Pi Ramesses was one the largest cities of ancient Egypt, and even had a populace of 300,000. Pi Ramesses was built on the banks of the river Nile. The city was built and run so well that even after the Pharaohs death it still achieved rapid success for over 500 years. The city was eventually abandoned because the branch of the Nile which once fed it water, dried up, and they no longer had access to water, which is especially bad in Egypt.

This is one of the most fascinating lost cities as it’s still completely undiscovered, but very likely to exist. According to classical historians, the city was ruled over by a man named Menes, who united Egypt, and became it’s first ever Pharaoh. Although Thinis was significant city at first, ad even the countries capital city, it began an unfortunate decline as the capital was moved to Memphis. This ceased to be significant at the beginning of Dynasty III. Although it lost political importance the city kept it’s religious prominence, and housed the tomb, and mummy of the regional deity.

L’Anse aux Meadows

L’Anse aux Meadows is Viking settlement in North America. The village was discovered by two Norwegians, one was an explorer, and the other was an archaeologist. The couple spoke to locals in of a small fishing hamlet, in the L’Anse aux Meadows. The locals took hem to a place they called the “old Indian Mounds”. The area was covered in large mounds which were later discovered to be houses buried shallowly under ground. Eventually 9 houses, and several artefacts were found at the site. L’Anse aux Meadows is the only known Norse settlement in America.

Apparently, somewhere in the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa is an ancient city. No doubt, it currently lies under tons of sand (if it exists at all), but some "unusual rock formations" suggest there's more than lies on the surface. Ultimately, one researcher figured out the most likely spot to search and said that a set of "monumental rocks" was all that was there, notes Wikipedia.

Shell middens, which are mountains of shells from seafood processing, are one sign researchers are excavating for to learn more about how early peoples traveled, explains Discover Magazine. But the coastal civilizations would be underwater at this point, far under the ocean (and layers of dirt), say scientists. Which means they may never find the evidence they need.

The Lost City of Heracleion

Once a bustling metropolis, this long-lost Egyptian city flooded, sank, and was forgotten — until archeologists rediscovered it.

When people think of archeology, they typically think of people laboring in the hot sun, or maybe underground. But those excavating the ancient Egyptian city of Heracleion have exchanged their sunblock for scuba gear. According to science writer Laura Geggel, the lost city was first discovered off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt in 2000, and has been the subject of regular excavations ever since. Despite the tough working conditions, the drowned city routinely reveals wonders, including mostly recently the remains of a temple, gold jewelry, coins and the missing piece of a ceremonial boat.

Anne-Sophie von Bomhard writes in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology about some of the more fascinating discoveries from Heracleion. The city, named for the ancient Greek hero Heracles, spanned a period of Egyptian history before and during Greek influence. Its Egyptian name was Thonis and the city is frequently referred to as Thonis-Heracleion.

Some seemingly mundane discoveries, such as walls, have provided some of the most telling information. Combined with studies of sediments, the walls reveal that the city apparently consisted of different districts, separated by waterways. One massive temple sat along the banks of a massive waterway that archaeologists have dubbed “The Grand Canal.” The Grand Canal connected a port/harbor to a large natural lake, sort of like modern-day Seattle. Within the canal and the ports, shipwrecks and maritime artifacts have been discovered.

The head of a colossal red granite statue of a pharaoh is raised to the surface. Picture by Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation.

Remarkably, despite the passage of thousands of years and the sinking of the entire city, small artifacts have survived as well. Amulets and statuettes depicting both Greek and Egyptian deities were found near the foundations of various buildings, as well as carved wooded naos, or small shrines that held statues or other artifacts. Amazingly intricate ceramics have been discovered, including a glazed, highly realistic-looking cobra.

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The artifacts are spectacular enough, but the city’s watery fate demonstrates another way in which the discovery benefits modern scholars. Based on artifacts and radiocarbon dates, Jean-Daniel Stanley and Marguerite Toscano were able to determine that the city was founded around 2,700 years ago. It flooded and sank around 1,500 years ago. Based on Heracleion’s and other cities’ current depth, the researchers were able to determine the rate at which the entire coast subsided. The city sank in pieces, with some sections subsiding faster than others. Located at what was then part of the mouth of the Nile Delta, the city was never far above sea level. Periodic high floods would have hastened the city’s demise, but building temples and other heavy structures on what was unstable soft sediment was disastrous. The city effectively sank under its own weight.

Watch the video: Das geheimnisvollste Königreich Afrikas ist Bir Tawil (January 2022).