The monuments discovered there, although only those in hard stone have survived, are more important than at any other site in the Delta except Tanis and cover a wider range, commencing with Khufu (Cheops) and continuing to the thirtieth dynasty.
(29) Id., Tanis, ii.
The pyramid-fields of Memphis and Sakkara, and the necropolis of Meydum, and those of Abydos and Thebes were examined; the great temples of Dendera and Edfu were disinterred; important excavations were carried out at Karnak, Medinet-Habu and Deir el-Bahri; Tanis (the Zoan of the Bible) was partially explored in the Delta; and even Gebel Barkal in the Sudan.
A great temple at Tanis boasted a larger colossus than existed in Thebes: Heliopolis and Memphis must have been lavishly adorned, and the temples of Abu Simbel alone would have been sufficient to satisfy the ambition of many of the great Pharaohs.
Memphis, Tanis, Bubastis, Sais, Heracleopolis had at one time or another at least equal claims. The Ethiopian conquerors of Egypt made Thebes their Egyptian capital, but in 668 Assur-bani-pal sacked the city.