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The current capital of Egypt is Cairo. Over the course of its history, Egypt has had many capitals. Its earliest capital was Tjenu, better known as Thinis, which may have been the capital of the hypothetical Thinite Confederacy prior to Egypt's unification. During the First, Second and Third Intermediate Periods, Egypt had multiple capitals held by rival dynasties.

Thinis was Egypt's first capital following its unification in c. 3100 BCE. The country's current capital is Cairo, and this has been the case since 972. This makes Cairo Egypt's longest-running capital city, having retained this status for over 1,050 years under the rule of six dynasties followed by the British protectorate of Egypt and the Republic of Egypt.

Alexandria was the second longest-lasting capital of Egypt, being used for the entirety of the Greco-Roman period, which lasted for 973 years. Memphis was the capital of Egypt for over 700 years and was the seat of the power for the whole of the Old Kingdom period. Thebes was used as the capital for approximately 485 years, mostly during the Middle and New Kingdoms.

List of Egyptian capitals

Name Time Period Ruling Dynasties Ref.
Tjenu (Thinis) c. 3150–2686 BCE First Dynasty
Second Dynasty
Men-nefer (Memphis) c. 2686–2160 BCE
c. 720–664 BCE
525–404 BCE
343–332 BCE
Third Dynasty
Fourth Dynasty
Fifth Dynasty
Sixth Dynasty
Seventh Dynasty
Eighth Dynasty
Twenty-fifth Dynasty (Kush Empire)
Twenty-seventh Dynasty (Achaemenid Empire)
Thirty-first Dynasty (Achaemenid Empire)
Henen-Nesut (Heracleopolis Magna) c. 2160–2040 BCE Ninth Dynasty
Tenth Dynasty
Waset (Thebes) c. 2130–1991 BCE
c. 1650–1346 BCE
c. 1332–1279 BCE
664–656 BCE
Eleventh Dynasty
Sixteenth Dynasty
Seventeenth Dynasty
Eighteenth Dynasty
Nineteenth Dynasty
Twenty-fifth Dynasty (Kush Empire)[4]
Itjtawy c. 1991–1650 BCE Twelfth Dynasty
Thirteenth Dynasty
Avaris c. 1725–1550 BCE Fourteenth Dynasty
Fifteenth Dynasty (Hyksos)
Akhetaten (Amarna) c. 1346–1332 BCE Eighteenth Dynasty (Amarna Period) [6]
Pi-Ramesses c. 1279–1077 BCE Nineteenth Dynasty
Twentieth Dynasty
Tanis c. 1077–943 BCE Twenty-first Dynasty [7]
Per-Bast (Bubastis) c. 943–720 BCE Twenty-second Dynasty
Leontopolis c. 837–720 BCE Twenty-third Dynasty
Sais c. 732–720 BCE
664–525 BCE
404–398 BCE
Twenty-fourth Dynasty
Twenty-sixth Dynasty
Twenty-eighth Dynasty
Djedet (Mendes) 398–380 BCE Twenty-ninth Dynasty
Sebennytos (Samannud) 380–343 BCE Thirtieth Dynasty [9]
Alexandria 332 BCE–641 CE Macedonian Egypt
Ptolemaic dynasty
Roman Empire
Palmyrene Empire
Byzantine Empire
Sasanian Empire
Fustat 641–750
Rashidun Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
Ikhshidid Dynasty
Fatimid Caliphate
Al-Askar 750–868 Abbasid Caliphate
Al-Qata'i 868–905 Tulunid Dynasty
Cairo 972–present Fatimid Caliphate
Ayyubid Dynasty
Mamluk Sultanate
Ottoman Empire
Muhammad Ali Dynasty
British protectorate of Egypt
Republic of Egypt

See also


  1. ^ Wilkinson, Toby A.H. (2000). Early Dynastic Egypt. Abingdon: Routledge. p. 67. ISBN 0-415-26011-6.
  2. ^ Shaw, Ian (2003). The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press, p.279
  3. ^ An Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, 2008. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. 2008.
  4. ^ Török, László (1998). The Kingdom of Kush: Handbook of the Napatan-Meroitic Civilization. Leiden: BRILL. p. 185. ISBN 90-04-10448-8.
  5. ^ Arnold, Dorothea (1991). "Amenemhat I and the Early Twelfth Dynasty at Thebes". Metropolitan Museum Journal. 26. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 5–48. doi:10.2307/1512902. JSTOR 1512902. S2CID 191398579.
  6. ^ "The Official Website of the Amarna Project". Archived from the original on 8 October 2008. Retrieved 1 October 2008.
  7. ^ Snape, Steven (2014). The Complete Cities of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 335. ISBN 978-0-500-77240-9.
  8. ^ Ian Shaw & Paul Nicholson, The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, British Museum Press, 1995. p.250
  9. ^ Gray, Leon (2010). The New Cultural Atlas of Egypt. Marshall Cavendish. p. 143. ISBN 9780761478775.