Tanis, also known as Djanet or San El-Hagar, was once the thriving capital of ancient Egypt. Located in the eastern delta region of the Nile River, Tanis was founded during the late New Kingdom period, around the 21st Dynasty, and remained an important city throughout the Third Intermediate Period and into the Late Period. The city was strategically located at the crossroads of the Nile Delta and the Mediterranean Sea, which allowed it to become a significant center for trade and commerce. With its flourishing economy, Tanis grew to become one of the wealthiest cities of ancient Egypt.
Tanis was also renowned for its impressive abundance of cultural and religious institutions. A grand temple dedicated to the goddess Amun was built during the 21st Dynasty, and it was later expanded and modified by subsequent pharaohs, such as Osorkon III and Shoshenq I. The city was also the birthplace of the high priest of Amun, Smendes, who later became the first pharaoh of the 21st Dynasty. However, Tanis’ prosperity did not last forever. It was eventually abandoned and forgotten, probably due to environmental changes, political unrest, and the decline of its religious institutions. By the time of the Roman conquest, the city was in ruins, and its magnificent temples were pillaged and dismantled.
Today, Tanis is still considered an essential archaeological site, with remains of the once grand city still visible. Archaeologists have uncovered numerous treasures, including the royal tombs of Pharaohs Psusennes I and Amenemope, the shrine of Osiris, and the limestone stelae dedicated to the gods.
Tanis was a cultural and economic hub of ancient Egypt. Its strategic location, wealth, and religious institutions made it an important center of trade and worship. While the city’s grandeur has long faded, its ruins continue to offer insight into ancient Egyptian history and the rise and fall of one of its most significant cities.