added by archaeologs The capital of modern Egypt, which has more than 400 registered historical monuments - the largest number of any African or Middle Eastern city - dating from 130 AD. The ancient metropolis has stood for more than 1,000 years on the same site. The Pyramids of Giza stand at the southwestern edge of the Cairo metropolis. The Egyptian (National) Museum is in Cairo which specializes in antiquities of the Pharaonic and Greco-Roman periods. It contains more than 100,000 items, including some 1,700 items from the tomb of Tutankhamen, including the solid-gold mask that covered the pharaoh's head. Other treasures include reliefs, sarcophaguses, papyri, funerary art and the contents of various tombs, jewelry, ornaments of all kinds, and other objects.
added by archaeologs The capital of modern Egypt. In 641, the Arab conqueror of Egypt, Amr Ibn al-As, built a new quarter, Fustat [‘The Tents’], outside the old town of Cairo. Among the first monuments erected in Fustat was the Mosque of Amr; the present structure, however, is almost entirely of the 19th century. New suburbs were added in the 8th and 9th centuries, making Fustat a large city. Ahmad ibn Tulun, governor from 869, chose it as his capital. Two buildings are associated with ibn Tulun: the Nilometer on Roda Island, which he restored in 872-3, and a mosque, finished in 879. The mosque is well preserved. It stands in a precinct and consists of a rectangular building, 140 metres long and 122 metres wide, with a courtyard surrounded on three sides by double arcades and a sanctuary five bays deep. The interior is richly decorated with stucco. In 969, the Fatimids arrived in Egypt and established another new town, al-Qahira [‘The Victorious’] nearby. Cairo contains two major 10th-century monuments: the Mosque of al-Azhar, completed in 972, and the Mosque of al-Hakim, begun in 990. The original appearance of the former virtually disappeared in the course of alterations associated with the University of al-Azhar, founded in 988. The latter has a monumental entrance and sanctuary with a T-shaped plan recalling the first Fatimid mosque at Mahd-iya. In 1087, the caliph al-Mustansir strengthened the walls of Cairo, employing Armenian architects for such features as Bab al-Futuh. Fustat, gradually abandoned in the Fatimid period, has been excavated on several occasions and became a hunting-ground for dealers, providing the large collections in museums all over the world.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983