4,000 years before the founding of Cairo, Memphis was the capital of Egypt. One of the great cities of the ancient world. The city itself lies buried beneath the modern-day village of Mit Rahina.
What remains of Memphis, is marked by an open air museum, with the remains of a statue of Ramses II, discovered in 1820. The garden contains more statues of the king, and a beautiful sphinx.
When you get there, do not greet them.
Now they are carving up your children
on their platters;
they have charred your nest,
set fire to the straw
and sheaves of wheat…
Tomorrow it is you they will slay
and dig for treasures
in your craw
Tomorrow, our ancient cities
will turn into cities of tents
pitched along a stairway
to the scaffold.
Egyptian poet, Amal Dunqul 1940