Small group & tailor-made Egypt tours 0845 130 48 49

In this section...


Currency converter

Change the prices displayed on
the site with the click of a mouse


Tour finder



Tanis, Egypt

Carvings at Tanis
Carved Pharaonic figure at Tanis, Egypt
Ruins at Tanis, Egypt
Tomb of King Osorkon at Tanis, Egypt
Royal tombs at Tanis, Egypt
Carved Pharaonic figure at Tanis, Egypt
Above: Carvings at Tanis, Egypt
  • Carvings at Tanis
  • Carved Pharaonic figure at Tanis, Egypt
  • Ruins at Tanis, Egypt
  • Tomb of King Osorkon at Tanis, Egypt
  • Royal tombs at Tanis, Egypt
  • Ruins at Tanis, Egypt

Throughout history, Tanis has been known by many names. The ancient Egyptians called it Djanet and the Old Testament refers to the city as Zoan. Today the city is called San el Hagar, though most people know the area by its Greek name – Tanis.

The History of Tanis goes back to the 21st and 22nd Dynasties, when it was the northern capital of Egypt, ruled by the Tanite Kings of the Third Intermediate Period. This is a long period in Egyptian history of which very little is known, however during this period the country is known to have struggled with chronic instability and civil conflict.

Due to the city’s advantageous location on the Nile Delta the city prospered and became a wealthy commercial centre, long before the rise of Alexandria. However, as time moved on, so did the waters of the Nile and the Tanite branch simply silted up. By the Roman period Tanis had become a fairly minor settlement and the main temple had been plundered for its limestone. During the Byzantine period it became a small diocese, but during the Islamic period the city was finally abandoned and not resettled until the reign of Muhammad Ali Pasha (1805-1848).

Napoleon Bonaparte took an interest in the site of Tanis and had the area surveyed in the late 1700’s. 2 large pink granite sphinxes were taken from the site, which became part of the Louvre collection. Other statues were sent to St Petersburg, Berlin and Alexandria.

Auguste Mariette was the first to truly excavate the site and his work here lasted from 1860 to 1864. Whilst excavating the site, he discovered the famous Four Hundred Year Stela in addition to many royal statues. However, Mariette mistakenly identified the site as the Hyksos capital of Avaris. He also believed that the site could have been the location of Ramses II’s residence – Pi-Ramses.

In 1939, the French Egyptologist Pierre Montet made one of the greatest archaeological discoveries ever in Egypt, when he unearthed a royal tomb complex on the site of ancient Tanis, which included 3 intact burial chambers. The treasures yielded from these tombs included golden masks, bracelets, tableware, necklaces, silver coffins and elaborate sarcophagi. Had it not been for the breakout of World War II, these treasures would surely have been as well, if not better known that those found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Even today, few people know the story of Montet’s discoveries at Tanis and despite the treasures being on display in Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, they draw far fewer visitors than their more famous counterparts.Our guide will be able to point these exhibits out to you.

We offer visits to Tanis both as a day trip that can be added to many of our set tour itineraries, and also as a featured stop on some of our tours.

Highlighted tours...

View more tours like these
Saint Catherines Monastery, site of the burning bush, Egypt

Ancient Christians...

Egypt

From UK£0 per person

11days
Sunset over Cairo, Egypt

Muslim Heritage

Egypt

From UK£0 per person

9days
Church of St George, Coptic Cairo, Egypt

Route of the Holy ...

Egypt

From UK£0 per person

9days

News & features

Mount Sinai, Egypt

Site of Moses and the Ten Commandments and St Catherine's Monastery.

Siwa Oasis, Egypt

Guide to this famous desert oasis made famous by Alexander the Great, and site of the ancient Oracle.

St Anthony's Monastery, Egypt

Interesting desert monastery dedicated to St Anthony and situated on the road between Hurghada and Cairo.

St Paul's Monastery, Egypt

Guide to this Coptic Christian monastery situated on the road between Hurghada and Cairo.

Boat diving

Short guide about the pros and cons of boat diving.

PADI diving courses

Detailed look at the various courses offered by PADI.

View more news & features


Customer feedback

"The tour was great value for money, I would definitely use you again and would have no hesitation in recommending your Company to others."

Ms. J. Casey (Cairo City Break)

Read more feedback


 

Signup to our newsletter

Our offers, straight to your inbox


  • Atol Logo
  • TTA Logo
  • TTA Logo

Egypt Uncovered, Head office: Leigh House, Varley Steet, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 6AN

Phone: +44 (0) 845 130 48 49 Fax: +44 (0) 845 130 48 84

Office Hours: Mon-Fri 09:00-18:00, Sat 09:30-12:30. Registered in the UK: 7560987

Copyright © 2017 Uncover the World Travel Ltd.