Memphis or Menefer was the ancient capital of Inebu-hedj, the first nome of Lower Egypt that was known as mḥw. Its ruins are located near the modern town of Mit Rahina, 20 km south of Giza in Greater Cairo, Egypt.
According to legends related in the early third century BC by Manetho, a priest and historian who lived in the Ptolemaic Kingdom during the Hellenistic period of ancient Egypt, the city was founded by King Menes. It was the capital of ancient Egypt during the Old Kingdom and remained an important city throughout ancient Egyptian history. It occupied a strategic position at the mouth of the Nile Delta, and was home to bustling activity. Its principal port, Peru-nefer, featured 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.
Memphis was believed to be under the protection of the god Ptah, the patron of craftsmen. Its great temple, Hut-ka-Ptah, was one of the most prominent structures in the city.