The Royal burial Site of Tanis

The city of Tanis

Tanis was an ancient city of Egypt. According to historical and archaeological sources, it was the capital city of ancient Egypt during its third Intermediate period. It was the time during the reign of the twenty-first dynasty. Tanis gained great importance. As the archaeological remnants indicate this.

the archaeological remains of the city of tanis

The unrecognized effort of a fellow

Pierre Montet discovered the royal burial site at Tanis on 27th February 1939. He identified the potential of this site. so, he started excavation and continued it till 1956. Besides continuing excavation for a long time, he did another great thing. He had a passion for photography. So, he took numerous photographs of his work at this site. But there is a tragic aspect of this passionate fellow. Because he never got recognition of his contribution at that time which he actually deserved.

pierre montet the discoverer
pierre montet with the sarcophagi of psusenes I

The glimpse of its importance

The archaeological discoveries revealed the importance of the city of Tanis. The most remarkable discoveries were several royal burials. These burials belonged to the twenty-first and twenty-second dynasties. Apart from these, there are several other archaeological discoveries also.

The royal tombs

The excavations at Tanis revealed royal tombs of a number of pharaohs along with their family members and officials. These pharaohs are Psusennes I and Amenemope. They belonged to the twenty-first dynasty. On the other hand, Shoshenq II, Osorkon II, and Shoshenq III belonged to the twenty-second dynasty. The sarcophagi of Psusennes I is remarkable as it is made of silver totally.

royal tombs of tanis

Location and condition of the burials

All the burials’ location in the south-eastern corner of the Great Temple at Tanis. During the discovery, most of the tombs were in intact condition.

The Great Temple at Tanis

Apart from burials, there is another attraction at Tanis. It is the Great Temple of Amun. Pharaoh Psusennes I ordered to construct it. Amun was the city god of Tanis. Thus this temple is important to understand the religious beliefs of this region. There is the depiction of Amun’s wife and son, Mut, and Khonsu respectively also in the temple also.

The gold burial masks

The gold burial masks is another great discovery from the tombs. They refer to royal nature. Almost every sarcophagus had yielded this gold mask. It had three distinctive characteristics. These are the use of the royal serpent, the false beard of the gods and a wide decorative collar.

gold mask of tanis burials

Other Artifacts

Different types of paraphernalia had been recovered from the burials, including valuable objects made of gold, silver, and semi-precious stones were mainly used to make these objects. Some remarkable examples of these artifacts are the golden pectoral of Amenemope and the golden armlet and sandals of Shoshenq II.

a valuable artifact from the site of tanis

The decline of the city of Tanis

According to researches, during the sixth century CE, a belief was originated in peoples’ mind that a devastating Nile flood would be coming. It probably affected the city of Tanis. Thus, people started to leave this city. So, Once the great trading center of Tanis reached its decline and left its fascinating history for us.

tanis city other remains