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Tanis(tā`nĭs), ancient city of Egypt, in the eastern delta of the Nile. It is identified with the Hyksos capital, Avaris (XII dynasty), and is called Zoan in the Bible. It was a significant city in the XIX dynasty and was capital of the XXI (Tanite) dynasty. On the Asian frontier, Tanis was important strategically and commercially until threatened inundation by Lake Manzala caused it to be abandoned after the 6th cent. A.D. for the city of Tennis. Excavations, first begun in 1860, revealed inscriptions, several temples and statues, and a royal necropolis.
(Greek; ancient Egyptian, Djane), an ancient city in the eastern Nile Delta, near present-day Lake Manzilah, in what is now the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Tanis was known as Avaris from the 17th to the 13th century B.C. and as Per-Ramses in the 13th and 12th centuries B.C., when it was the residence of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II. Tanis was made the capital of Egypt by the Tanite Nesubanebded (Greek, Smendes), who founded the 21st dynasty in the 11th century B.C.; it remained the capital until the accession of the 23rd dynasty.
In the Middle Ages, Tanis declined as a result of the subsidence of the soil and inundation of the locality by the salt waters of Lake Manzilah. Today, the fishing settlement of San al-Hajar al-Qibliyah is located on the site of Tanis. Excavations by the French Egyptologist P. Montet, conducted between 1929 and 1951, revealed the virtually intact tombs of kings of the 21st and 22nd dynasties.
The layout of Tanis is unknown. At the temple of Ramses II (13th—12th centuries B.C), two courtyards with six obelisks and a third courtyard with statues of the king have been unearthed. The only other major ensemble is a temple of the goddess Anat from the time of Ramses II.