Sites & cities that bear the name of Saïs


Today in : Egypt
First trace of activity : ca. 3,200 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 3rd century C.E
Recorded names : S3w, Z3w, Σάϊς, Sa, Saou, Zau, Sau, Ṣā al-Ḥaǧar, صا الحجر, Sa al-Hagar, Sa El Hagar, Ⲥⲁⲓ

Description : Sais (Ancient Greek: Σάϊς, Coptic: Ⲥⲁⲓ) or Sa El Hagar (Arabic: صا الحجر‎) was an ancient Egyptian town in the Western Nile Delta on the Canopic branch of the Nile. It was the provincial capital of Sap-Meh, the fifth nome of Lower Egypt and became the seat of power during the Twenty-fourth Dynasty of Egypt (c. 732–720 BC) and the Saite Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt (664–525 BC) during the Late Period. Its Ancient Egyptian name was Zau. Herodotus wrote that Sais is where the grave of Osiris was located and that the sufferings of the god were displayed as a mystery by night on an adjacent lake. The city's patron goddess was Neith, whose cult is attested as early as the First Dynasty of Egypt (c. 3100–3050 BC). The Greeks, such as Herodotus, Plato, and Diodorus Siculus, identified her with Athena and hence postulated a primordial link to Athens. Diodorus recounts that Athenians built Sais before the deluge. While all Greek cities were destroyed during that cataclysm, including Athens, Sais and the others Egyptian cities survived. There are today no surviving traces of this town prior to the Late New Kingdom (c. 1100 BC) due to the extensive destruction of the city by the sebakhin (farmers removing mudbrick deposits for use as fertilizer) leaving only a few relief blocks in situ.

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