– Chapter 6 –
Memphis is Found
Memphis is Found
The Napoleonic expedition to Egypt between 1799 and 1801 finally puts the ancient city of Memphis back on the map. Numerous people, from engineers and diplomats to army officers and lawyers come to visit this incredible ancient capital. One of the most notable of these is Giovanni Battista Caviglia who finds the colossus of Ramesses II (now on display at the Memphis Museum). Memphis was beginning to give up its secrets.
By the end of the 19th century, Memphis features in Egyptological publications and archaeologists increasingly descend on the city. Flinders Petrie begins large-scale excavations of the city between 1908 and 1913. He is followed by Clarence Fisher from the University of Pennsylvania, who excavates the well-preserved palace of Merenptah. Excavations are also carried out by a number of Egyptian archaeologists such as Ahmed Badawi and Labib Habachi. They discover, amongst other things, the Apis House, Chapel of Seti I, Tombs of the High Priests, Ramesses II Temple and Ramesses II Chapel.
David Jeffreys and his colleagues carry out extensive survey work at Memphis for the Egypt Exploration Society (EES) between 1981 and 2004, excavating, recording and mapping many parts of this vast ancient city. In 2011 Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA), the American Research Center in Egypt and the EES carry out an excavation field school for Egyptian archaeologists at the cemetery of Kom el-Fakhry. In 2015, AERA, the University of York and the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities direct a series of heritage management field schools for Ministry inspectors across 8 of Memphis’ ancient sites. Finally, after almost 1500 years, the city of Memphis is being brought back to life again.