List of ancient Egyptian towns and cities

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Map of ancient Egypt with town names in hieroglyphs

This is a list of known ancient Egyptian towns and cities.[1][2][3] The list is for sites intended for permanent settlement and does not include fortresses and other locations of intermittent habitation. Use Ctrl + F and enter the town's name or alternative name for convenience.

     a capital of ancient Egypt
     a capital of ancient Egypt and regional administrative center
Thonis italicized name: only the Greek name is known

Lower Egypt[edit]

Town

(Popular name)

In hieroglyphs Date founded Nome Patron deity Modern name Other name/s Note
Men-nefer (Memphis)
mn
n
nfr f
r
O24 niwt
earlier than 3000 BC 1st Ptah (cult center) Mit Rahina Aneb-Hetch, Djed-Sut, Ankh-Tawy, Menfe, Hut-ka-Ptah, Moph, Noph Capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom; capital of its nome
Khem (Letopolis)
Aa1 O34 G17 O49
probably during Old Kingdom 2nd Khenty-irty Ausim Capital of its nome
Yamu (Apis) probably during Old Kingdom 3rd Hathor Kom el-Hisn Imu, Apis Capital of its nome
Raqote (Alexandria)
r
Z1
a
A35 t

niwt
331 BC 3rd Serapis Alexandria Rhacotis, Rakotə, Eskendereyyah Alexandria was the intellectual and cultural center of the ancient world for some time; capital of the Ptolemaic Kingdom
Khito (Rosetta) 3rd Rashid Bolbitine, Bolbitinum, Bolbitinon, Trashit, Rakhit, Rexi Where Rosetta Stone was found
Ptkheka (Ptkheka) 4th Neith Tanta Capital of its nome
Zau (Sais)
z
G39
G1 G43 O49
earlier than 3000 BC 5th Neith (cult center) Sa el-Hagar Capital of 24th and 26th Dynasties; capital of its nome
Per-Wadjet (Buto)
A18 X1
O49
earlier than 3000 BC 5th Wadjet (cult center) Tell al-Fara'in Pe and Dep, Butus, Butosus Where Predynastic Buto-culture was found
Khasut (Xois) 6th Amun Sakha Xeos, Skhoo Capital of its nome
Timinhor (Damanhur) later than 1200 BC 7th Damanhur Hermopolis Mikra, Tel Ballamon Capital of its nome
Piemro (Naucratis) 7th century BC 7th Thoth Kom Gieif Ναύκρατις First permanent Greek colony; major center for Greek Egyptian sea trade
Thonis (Heracleion) 12th century BC 7th Amun Ἡράκλειον Egypt's main port during Late Period; sister city of Naucratis
Menouthis (Menouthis) 7th Isis and Serapis Sunk to the sea in 8th century AD; near Heracleion and Canopus
Pikuat (Canopus)
Q3
W11
Aa18 U33 X1
O49
7th Osiris Aboukir Canobus, Kanobos, Kanopos, Schedia Principal port in Egypt for Greek trade before the foundation of Alexandria
Per-Atum (Pithom)
O1
Z1
X1
U15
G17 X1
O49
8th Atum Tell-el-Maskhuta Tjeku, Heroöpolis, Heroonopolis Capital of its nome
Djedu (Busiris)
R11 R11 G43 O49
9th Osiris Abu Sir Bana Per Usiri Capital of its nome
Hut-hery-ib (Athribis) 10th Repyt Banha Tell Atrib, Attrib, Medeenet Ashaysh Capital of its nome
Taremu (Leontopolis) 11th Bast and Sekhmet (cult center) Kafr Al Muqdam Leonto, Leontos, Tell el-Muqdam One of the capitals during the 23rd Dynasty; capital of its nome during Ptolemaic Period
Šetennu (Pharbaetus) earlier than 7th century BC 11th Hormerty Horbeit Shednu, Sheten, Pharbaethus Capital of its nome; one of the centers of the chiefs of the Meshwesh Libyans
Tjebnutjer (Sebennytos) 12th Onuris Samanud Hometown of Manetho; capital of the 30th Dynasty; capital of its nome
Iunu (Heliopolis)
iwn nw
O49
earlier than 3000 BC 13th Ra (cult center) Ayn Shams Ôn, Āwen, Ὂν Capital of its nome
Tjaru (Sile) 14th Horus Tel el-Habua Zaru, Tharu, Djaru, Tjel, Sile, Edfu of Lower Egypt Largest ancient Egyptian fortress town; place of exile for criminals; capital of its nome
Per-Amun (Pelusium)
pr i mn
n
C12 niwt
14th Amun Tell el-Farama Sena, Seyân, Sin, Pelousion, Paramoun, Peremoun, Peromi Easternmost major Egyptian city; Battles of Pelusium
Weprehwy (Hermopolis Parva) 15th Tell al-Naqus Capital of its nome
Tamiat (Damietta) 15th Damietta Damiata, Domyat, Ταμίαθις, Tamiathis
Djedet (Mendes)
Dd d
t
niwt
earlier than 3000 BC 16th Banebdjedet Tell El-Ruba Per-Banebdjedet, Anpet Capital of the 29th Dynasty; capital of its nome
Semabehdet (Diospolis Inferior) 17th Tel El Balamun Capital of its nome
Per-Bast (Bubastis)
bA st t
niwt
18th Bastet (cult center) Tell-Basta Per-Bastet One of the capitals during the 22nd and 23rd Dynasties; capital of its nome
Djanet (Tanis)
D
a
n
,
t niwt
late New Kingdom 19th Amun Tell Nebesha Thebes of the North, Ṣān al-Ḥagar, Zoan Capital of 21st and 22nd Dynasties; capital of its nome; important port for Asiatic trade; center of linen manufacture.
Hut-waret (Avaris)
O7 t
pr
D56 t
niwt
during Middle Kingdom 19th Set Tell el-Dab'a Auaris, Hawara, Athyria Capital of 14th and 15th Dynasties
Pi-Ramesses (Pi-Ramesses) 1274 BC 19th Qantir Per-Rameses, Per Ramessu Founded by Ramesses II; absorbed Avaris; capital of Egypt during Ramesses II's reign
Per-Sopdu (Per-Sopdu) 20th Amun Saft el-Hinna Soped, Pi-Sopt Capital of its nome

Upper Egypt[edit]

Town

(Popular name)

In hieroglyphs Date founded Nome Patron deity Modern name Other name/s Note
Abu (Elephantine)
E26 O49
earlier than 3000 BC 1st Khnum (cult center) Aswan Yebu Capital of its nome
Swenett (Aswan)
s E34
n
t
niwt
1st Swenett Aswan Syene Location of stone quarries for Syenite granite
Nubt (Kom Ombo)
S12
X1 O49
earlier than 3000 BC 1st Sobek (cult center) Kom Ombo Omboi, Ombos, Ambo, Ombi Garrison throughout pharaonic history; arch-enemy of the city of Dendera
Behdet (Edfu)
F18
D46
X1
O49
earlier than 3000 BC 2nd Horus (cult center) Naga el-Goneima Apollonopolis Magna, Apollinopolis Magna, Djeba, Utes-Hor Capital of its nome
Nekheb (El Kab) earlier than 3500 BC 3rd Nekhbet (cult center) El Kab Eileithyiaspolis, Lucinae Civitas Capital of its nome before Nekhen; surrounded by a massive mud brick wall
Nekhen (Hierakonpolis)
O47
n
niwt
earlier than 3000 BC 3rd Horus (cult center) El Kab Al-Kom Al-Aħmar Capital of its nome after Nekheb; opposite Nekheb on the other side of the Nile
Ta-senet (Latopolis)
HD st N35
X1
R24 I12 O49
earlier than Middle Kingdom 3rd Khnum Esna Iunyt, Polis Latton, Lato Capital of its nome after Nekhen
Waset (Thebes)
R19 t
niwt
earlier than 3000 BC 4th Amun (cult center) Luxor Niwt-rst, Niwt-Imn, Nōʼ ʼĀmôn, No, Iunu-shema, Diospolis Magna, Ta-pe, Hundred-gated Thebes Capital of Egypt during most of Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom; capital of its nome; foremost religious center
Per-Hathor (Aphroditopolis)
O1
Z1
O10 O49
earlier than 3000 BC 4th Hathor Gebelein Inerty, Pathyris, Naga el-Gherira
Iuny (Hermonthis)
O28 N35 M17 O49
4th Montu (cult center) Armant Erment, Iunu-Montu Capital of its nome during Cleopatra VII
Sumenu (Crocodilopolis) earlier than Middle Kingdom 4th Sobek (cult center) el-Mahamid Qibly Imiotru Different from Shedet (also called Crocodilopolis)
Djerty (El-Tod) during Old Kingdom 4th Montu El-Tod Ḏrty, Touphion, Tuphium, Thouôt, Tuot
Madu (Medamud) 4th Montu Medamud
Nubt (Naqada)
S12
X1 O49
earlier than 3500 BC 5th Set (cult center) Naqada Ombos, South Town Where the Pre-dynastic Naqada culture was found
Iushenshen (Iushenshen) earlier than 3000 BC 5th Khozam Capital of its nome during Old Kingdom
Gesy (Qus) 5th Horus Qus Gesa, Apollonopolis Parva, Apollinopolis Mikra, Apollonos minoris A point of departure for expeditions to the Red Sea
Gebtu (Koptos)
V33 D58 G4 O49
5th Min (cult center) Qift Kebto, Keft, Justinianopolis Capital of its nome; commercial center for the Upper Egyptian Red Sea trade through Wadi Hammamat
Iunet (Dendera)
O1
Z1
G25 Aa1
X1
E1 X1
O49
6th Hathor (cult center) Dendera Tentyra, Tentyris, Nikentori, Nitentori Capital of its nome
Seshesh (Hu) 7th Bat, then Hathor Hu Diospolis Parva, Diospolis Superior, Hut-Sekhem, Hiw Capital of its nome
Abdju (Abydos)
Ab b Dw
O49
earlier than 3000 BC 8th Khentiamentiu, then Osiris (cult center) and Isis al-Birba Osiris Capital of its nome
Tjenu (Thinis)
V13
N35
T14 M17 O49
earlier than 4000 BC 8th Anhur This Capital of the 1st and 2nd Dynasties; still unlocated
Ipu (Akhmim)
M17 Q3 G43 O49
9th Min (cult center) Akhmim Apu, Khent-min, Khmin, Shmin, Khemmis, Chemmis, Panopolis Capital of its nome
Hut-Repyt (Athribis) 9th Repyt Wannina Triphieion, Tripheion Distinct from Hut-hery-ib (Athribis)
Tjebu (Qau) 10th Nemty (cult center) Qaw el-Kebir Djew-Qa, Antaeopolis Capital of its nome
Shashotep (Hypselis) 11th Khnum Shutb Apotheke Capital of its nome
Per-Nemty (Per-Nemty) 12th Nemty al Atawla Hierakon Capital of its nome
Zawty (Asyut)
O34
G39
w t
O49
13th Anubis (cult center), Wepwawet (cult center) Asyut Sauty, Syut, Syowt, Lycopolis, Lycon, Lyco Capital of its nome
Qis (Cusae)
N29 M17 S29 O49
14th Hathor el-Qusiya Kis, Kusai Capital of its nome
Akhetaten (Amarna)
N27 i t
n
N5
O49
around 1346 BC 14th Aten (cult center) Tell el-Amarna Capital of Egypt during Akhenaten's reign
Khmun (Hermopolis Magna)
Z1
Z1
Z1
Z1
Z1
Z1
Z1
Z1
W24
O49
15th Thoth (cult center), Ogdoad El Ashmunein Hermopolis Megale, Hermupolis Capital of its nome
Herwer (Herwer)
D2
D21
Z7 Aa19 N31
D21
O49
16th Khnum and Heqet Hur Capital of its nome
Hebenu (Hebenu)
V28 D58 N35
W24 Z7
D40
O49
16th Kom el Ahmar Capital of its nome before Herwer
Per-Imen-mat-khent(j) (Akoris) earlier than Old Kingdom 16th Tihna el-Gebel Mer-nefer(et), Dehenet
Saka (Cynopolis) 17th Anubis (cult center) El Kays Hardai, Cynopolis Superior Capital of its nome
Tayu-djayet (El Hiba)
t A i i w DA i i t
niwt
18th El Hiba Teudjoi, Ankyronpolis Capital of its nome
Per-Medjed (Oxyrhynchus) 19th el-Bahnasa Pemdje, Oxyrrhynkhoupolis Capital of its nome
Henen-nesut (Herakleopolis Magna)
M23 A17 A17 A17 X1
O49
earlier than 3000 BC 20th Heryshaf (cult center) Ihnasiyyah al-Madinah Nenj-neswt, Ehnasya, Hnas, Ahnas Capital of the 9th and 10th Dynasties; capital of its nome
Shedet (Crocodilopolis)
F30
D46
X1
O49
21st Sobek (cult center) Faiyum Arsinoë, Fayoum, She-resy Capital of its nome
Tepihu (Aphroditopolis)
t
p
I10 h w O49
22nd Hathor (cult center during Greek period) Atfih Petpeh Capital of its nome

Nubia[edit]

Town

(Popular name)

In hieroglyphs Date founded Nome Patron deity Modern name Other name/s Note
Chenem-Waset (Amara West) During Seti I's reign none Amara, Nubia Per-Menmaatre, Per-Rameses-meri-Amun Official residence of the representative of Kush
Iken (Mirgissa)
M17 A2 q
n
N25
earlier than 4500 BC none Hathor Fortress town; now submerged in Lake Nasser
Buhen (Buhen)
D58 O4 N35
N25
earlier than 3000 BC none Buhen Largest fortress town in Nubia; housed a copper factory

Red Sea Coast[edit]

Town

(Popular name)

In hieroglyphs Date founded Nome Patron deity Modern name Other name/s Note
Berenice (Berenice) 275 BC none Medinet-el Haras Berenike, Berenice Troglodytica, Baranis Founded by Ptolemy II; named after his mother, Berenice I of Egypt
Leucus Limen (Quseir) earlier than New Kingdom none Al-Qusayr, Egypt Kosseir, Al Qusair, El Quseir, Qusseir, Qosseir Important trading port during pharaonic times, where goods from Red Sea and beyond entered Egypt

References[edit]