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Its eventual downfall is believed to be due to the loss of its economic significance in late antiquity, following the rise of coastal Alexandria.
Its religious significance also diminished after the abandonment of the ancient religion following the Edict of Thessalonica.
2055–1640 BCE), and is frequently found in ancient Egyptian texts.
Some scholars maintain that this name was actually that of the western district of the city that lay between the great Temple of Ptah and the necropolis at Saqqara, an area that contained a sacred tree.
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) was the ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, the first nome of Lower Egypt.
For example, according to a text of the First Intermediate Period, The city was also at one point referred to as Ankh-Tawy (meaning "Life of the Two Lands"), stressing the strategic position of the city between Upper and Lower Egypt.
It occupied a strategic position at the mouth of the Nile delta, and was home to feverish activity.
Its principal port, Peru-nefer, harboured a high density of workshops, factories, and warehouses that distributed food and merchandise throughout the ancient kingdom.
During its golden age, Memphis thrived as a regional centre for commerce, trade, and religion.
The city was also the place that marked the boundary between Upper and Lower Egypt. Estimates of historical population size differ widely between sources.
(The 22nd nome of Upper Egypt and 1st nome of Lower Egypt). According to Tertius Chandler, Memphis had some 30,000 inhabitants and was by far the largest settlement worldwide from the time of its foundation until around 2250 BCE and from 1557 to 1400 BCE.