Ancient Egyptian Cities

There were Egyptian areas that were similar to states and in each of these areas were cities.  Most of the cities had official capital cities.  Two of the major cities were Memphis and Thebes.  These are two cities that were very important in Ancient Egyptian history.

There were also many other cities and people worked in them and had places of worship and other things.  Many of the cities were based around building and other projects such as building temples and pyramids.

Important Cities

The cities that were the most important cities in Ancient Egypt would at some point be made into the capital of that state.  Some of the capitals included Memphis, Tanis, Sais, Thebes and Alexandria.  These places were capital cities that pharaohs and kings would appoint people to be in charge of.


Memphis was a very important capital and existed from the yare 2950 B.C.  to 2180 B.C.  Memphis was at one point one of the biggest cities that existed in the whole world.  Memphis was important because it was a big trade area.

Memphis was so important that they even built a temple to the god of Memphis named Ptah.  He is considered the god of crafting and is a god that creates.

Memphis stayed the capital for a long time, but it later changed to Thebes.  Even though the capital changed, Memphis still remained an important city to the Egyptians.


Tanis is a city that is sometimes called the “Lost City,” but it was an important city because it was part of Ancient Egypt and was even a place where King Tuts rival lived.  Historians do not have a lot of information about this city.


Sais was a city that was found on the Nile River.  It was an important place to trade because it is where the Egyptians could meet with other areas and was an important trade port city.  This city was dedicated to Neith, the goddess of war.


Thebes became the capital in 2135 B.C. after Memphis.  This was a place where there was a lot of religion and politics that happened.  This is where the Temple of Luxor and the Temple of Karnak were.  Thebes also housed the Valley of the Kings, a place where many important pharaohs and kings were buried.


Alexandria was the capital even when the Greeks conquered Egypt.  This was the capital from 332 B.C. to 641 A.D.  The city was very popular when Alexander the Great took over Egypt.  This city was part of the Ptolemy Dynasty and stayed the capital for many, many years.

Alexandria was considered a place where people were growing, and ideas were growing.  This city had the largest library in the world.  Alexandria was also famous for a Lighthouse that was located in the city.  Alexandria is located right on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and is the second largest city in Egypt.

More Cities

There were other cities that were important in Ancient Egypt that were not capital cities but still were equally important.


The city of Abydos was part of the Old Kingdom of Egypt.  This city was considered a holy city because the Egyptians believed that Osiris, a god, was buried there.  There were different temples that were built in the city that were given to the gods.  One of the first pharaohs of Egypt was buried close to this city.


The city of Crocodilopolis was also called Shedet.  This was named this because it was named after the god of crocodiles, Sobek.  Some believe that this city was named in 4000 B.C. and is considered one of the oldest cities in Egyptian history.

Komo Ombo

One of the biggest trade cities was Komo Ombo.  This later was known as Nubt because it was thought that gold was found in this city and Nubt means the “city of gold.”

More Facts About Ancient Egyptian Cities:

  • Most of the cities were named after gods.
  • Elephantine was another Ancient Egyptian city named after Khnum, the god of water.
  • The city Hermopolis was found on the border of Upper and Lower Egypt and it was a myth that the first sunrise happened over this city.
  • When Pharaoh Akhenaten was pharaoh, he made his own religion and made there be one god called Aten. He built the city called Amarna and it only lasted until he died.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What were two very important capital cities in Ancient Egypt?  Two very important capitals in Ancient Egypt were Thebes and Memphis.
  2. What were many of the cities of Ancient Egypt named after? Many of the cities of Ancient Egypt were named after gods.
  3. What city was named after the crocodile god, Sobek? Crocodilopolis was the city that was named after the crocodile god, Sobek.
  4. Which was the capital of Egypt first, Thebes or Memphis? Memphis was the first capital of Egypt and Thebes was the second capital.
  5. Why was it important to have cities that were located on the Nile River? It was important to have cities that were located on the Nile River so that the Egyptians could trade with other areas.