The 7 Lost Cities Of The World

Published June 17, 2011
Updated October 15, 2019

Memphis, Egypt

Memphis Egypt Lost Cities

According to legends, around 3000 B.C. the pharaoh Menes founded Memphis – an Egyptian city located south of Cairo. It was the ancient capital of Lower Egypt and thrived as a cultural, commercial, religious and trading hub. The location at the entrance to the Nile River Valley likely made it a natural place for an early settlement.

Memphis was the seat of a far-reaching bureaucracy, enabling King Sneferu to organize the labor force necessary to build the pyramids at Saqqara. Khufu, King Sneferu’s successor, went on to help construct the Great Pyramid at Giza. Memphis grew into prominence alongside Giza, both becoming bustling necropolises.


However, the once-important city was abandoned as the Roman Empire came into prominence. The rise of Christianity around the 4th century A.D. meant fewer visitors to the temples of old Egyptian gods. Consequently, the site fell into disrepair and during the 7th century, the Arabs invaded it. the Egyptians harvested the stones from Memphis’s buildings to help build Cairo and Fustat — the first capital of Muslim Egypt.

Lost Cities Of Memphis

John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.