The ruins of Memphis are 12 miles south of Cairo on the west bank of the Nile. The city was founded around 3100 BC by Menes who united the upper and lower kingdoms of Egypt; with some 30,000 inhabitants it was by far the largest settlement worldwide from the time of its foundation until around 2250 BC and from 1557 to 1400 BC. Under the Roman Empire, Alexandria was the most important city and Memphis was the second most important. In the Bible, Memphis was known as Moph or Noph.
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