The city of Tel Basta (Bobasts) is 2 km from the city of Zagazig in the Sharkia Governorate, and about 85 km from the city of Cairo to the northeast.
At the time of the 22nd Dynasty (945-720 BC) it was a politically important city and was the Egyptian capital at that time, although, it shared the governance with the city of “Tanis”, currently known as “San al-Hajar” during the rule of the 23rd Dynasty.
The city was located in the past at the confluence of the land trade road of Wadi Al-Tumailat with the river road through the “Belozi” branch of the Nile – one of the seven branches of the Nile. In the era of Ptolemy (the second century BC), it was known as the “Al-Bobasti” branch and it was passing by the city of Basta, which was dedicated to the worship of the goddess Bastet, pictured in the form of a seated cat. The city was also known to be the seat of Yusuf al-Siddiq. It had a great importance in several fields, including ancient Egyptian medicine.
This city was filled with temples and idols, the most famous of which is a temple described by the historian Herodotus in 450 BC. It is the most beautiful temple in Egypt because of it contained important monuments belonging to different eras that passed by it.
The origin of this temple goes back to antiquity, from the days of King Khufu, who started its construction, and after him came the Middle Kingdom. A palace of King Amenemhat was found in the place, and parts were added to the temple during the era of the modern state, and in the Greek, Roman and Ptolemaic eras. Within the space of this temple, there is a water well dating back to the Roman era. Now we find this ancient city, specifically the archaeological area, through an open museum that contains statues from different eras and ruins of stones that were once a large temple to the goddess Bastet.
It is known that the scholars of the French military campaign were the first to refer to the ruins of Tell Basta, before the excavations that were carried out in it in the year 1860 AD. These excavations are continuing until now, and they resulted in the discovery of an entire city containing palaces, temples, houses, streets and shops. Recently, they discovered a statue of Meret Amun, the daughter of Ramses II and his wife at the same time, as in the past, a king could marry his daughter and get children from her, in order to preserve the royal blood.
Ms. Manal Munir, director of the archaeological region of South Al Sharqiyah for Tell Basta, explained that there are still about 30 acres out of a total of 120 acres, which are an area of ruins of Tell Basta, where no excavations were carried out, and what is inside it was not discovered.