Thebes, famed cities of antiquity in Egypt

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Thebes is one of the famed cities of antiquity. Its remains, some of which date back to the 11th dynasty (2081–1939 BCE) of ancient Egypt, lie on both sides of the Nile River in what is now the modern-day country of Egypt.


Thebes (Arabic: طيبة‎, Ancient Greek: ΘῆβαιThēbai), known to the ancient Egyptians as Waset, was an ancient Egyptian city located along the Nile about 800 kilometers (500 mi) south of the Mediterranean. Its ruins lie within the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome (Sceptre nome) and was the capital of Egypt for long periods during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom eras. It was close to Nubia and the Eastern Desert, with its valuable mineral resources and trade routes. It was a cult center and the most venerated city during many periods of ancient Egyptian history. The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand and where the city was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found.

Temple of Luxor, Thebes, Egypt

Thebes is one of the famed cities of antiquity. Its remains, some of which date back to the 11th dynasty (2081–1939 BCE) of ancient Egypt, lie on both sides of the Nile River in what is now the modern-day country of Egypt. The Thebes area also includes the archaeologically rich sites of Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, and Karnak. The remains found at these sites—including impressive temples, palaces, and royal tombs—provide a view of the architecture, religious customs, and daily life of ancient Egypt.


According to George Modelski, Thebes had about 40,000 inhabitants in 2000 BC (compared to 60,000 in Memphis, the largest city in the world at the time). By 1800 BC, the population of Memphis was down to about 30,000, making Thebes the largest city in Egypt at the time. Historian Ian Morris has estimated that by 1500 BC, Thebes may have grown to be the largest city in the world, with a population of about 75,000, a position which it held until about 900 BC, when it was surpassed by Nimrud (among others).


Decorated pillars of the temple at Karnac, Thebes, Egypt. Co Wellcome V0049316.jpg
Pillars of the Great Hypostyle Hall, in The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, and Nubia
Thebes, Egypt is located in Egypt
Shown within Egypt
Alternative nameArabicطيبة
LocationLuxorLuxor GovernorateEgypt
RegionUpper Egypt
Coordinates25°43′14″N 32°36′37″ECoordinates25°43′14″N 32°36′37″E
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official nameAncient Thebes with its Necropolis
CriteriaI, III, VI
Designated1979 (3rd session)
Reference no.87
RegionArab States


Sources: Wikipedia,