Tanis was a city, located in northern or lower part of Egypt at the north east of the delta, capital of Egypt during the twenty-first and twenty-second dynasties but do to inundations threatening had to be abandoned.
Much of the stones that came to this place were from Per Ramesses or Pi-Ramesses capital of the delta founded as capital of Lower Egypt by Ramses the II the great constructor; this is also the city from where ruled some of the descendants of Ramses III dynasty.
Tanis came to power at the time that Thebes was ruled by the its High priests, the last pharaoh of the twentieth Ramses XI, was too week to control them.
The Nubian garrisons that were call for help took advantage of the situation and a civil war broke that brought the besiege of Medinet Habu, they broke to pieced the main entrance, it was a time of great disorder in Egypt it was not only the end of the twentieth but also the end of the glorious Egyptian dynasties.
At this time Egypt enters to the third intermediate period and Egypt was divided into small kingdoms Smendes raised from a powerful non-royal family nevertheless his wife Tentamun, probably had royal nexus. Anyway, he proclaimed its independence in the delta and founded the twenty-first dynasty.
The jewelry and sarcophagus found in the area belonging to the Tanis dynasties show that they had a solid economic status that rivals any other place in Egypt at that time.
The principal triad consecrated to the temples of this city was Amon-Ra, Mut and their son Khonsu, the same triad as Thebes and probably Smendes have been a powerful governor and was related to the wife of the High priest of Thebes and even so that some sources mentions him as the Egyptian Pharaoh they did not made a good stronghold to reunify Egypt again.
It is not certain if he ruled the entire Egypt but is very clearly a sure that he ruled the delta and was very powerful economically
On the other hand during this period half of Egypt was divided and the south or Upper Egypt was under a strong hereditary theocracy.
Eventually the whole Egypt went into a great disorder and was disjointed in small local kingdoms of not much importance, torn into rivalry among them and the usurpation of tombs was a common thing, the gods have fallen to the ground.
In the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tanis was said to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant which was hidden in a secret chamber called the Well of Souls. Tanis was inaccurately depicted as having been destroyed in a sand storm and buried until 1936 when it was discovered by a German expedition outside Cairo. In fact, Tanis was the site of numerous archaeological digs beginning in the 19th century, involving Flinders Petrie and Auguste Mariette.
In the film Pandorum, Earth - in the year 2174 - has grown overpopulated and humanity has fought over the last natural resources. In a desperate attempt to preserve the human race, 60,000 people are sent in a massive ship called Elysium to colonize the only known Earth-like planet named Tanis.
here are ruins of a number of temples, including the chief temple dedicated to Amun, and a very important royal necropolis of the Third Intermediate Period (which contains the only known intact royal Pharaonic burials — the tomb of Tutankhamun having been entered in antiquity). Many of the stones used to build the various temples at Tanis came from the old Ramesside town of Qantir (ancient Pi-Ramesses/Per-Ramesses), which caused many former generations of Egyptologists to believe that Tanis was, in fact, Per-Ramesses. However the burials of three Dynasty 21 and Dynasty 22 pharaohs — Psusennes I, Amenemope and Shoshenq II, survived the depredations of tomb robbers throughout antiquity. They were discovered intact in 1939 and 1940 by Pierre Montet and proved to contain a large catalogue of gold, jewelry, lapis lazuli and other precious stones including the funerary masks of these kings.
The chief deities of Tanis were Amun, his consort, Mut, and their child Khonsu, forming the Tanite triad. This triad was, however, identical to that of Thebes, leading many scholars to speak of Tanis as the "northern Thebes".
In 2009, the Egyptian Culture Ministry reported archaeologists had discovered the site of a sacred lake in a temple to the goddess Mut at the San al-Hagar archaeological site in ancient Tanis. The lake, built out of limestone blocks, had been 15 meters long and 12 meters wide. It was discovered 12 meters below ground in good condition. This was the second sacred lake found at Tanis. The first lake at the site had been identified in 1928.
Tanis was a brand new city in ancient Egypt and served as a parallel religious center to Thebes in the Third Intermediate Period. No archaeological evidence from it pre-dates the reign of Psusennes I (1039-991 BC), but many scholars think it originated in the late New Kingdom. Tanis's creation was most likely due to the silting up of the Nile branch that ran by Pi-Ramesses, which forced people to seek another area with access to water. Later on, Tanis would become known as Thebes of Lower Egypt.
The kings at Tanis saw themselves as the legitimate successors on the throne of Upper and Lower Egypt. They used traditional titles and displayed their royalty in building work, although that was insignificant when compared to activity at the height of the New Kingdom.
Tanis was founded in the late Twentieth Dynasty, and became the northern capital of Egypt during the following Twenty-first Dynasty. It was the home city of Smendes, founder of the 21st dynasty. During the Twenty-second Dynasty Tanis remained as Egypt's political capital (though there were sometimes rival dynasties located elsewhere in Upper Egypt). It was an important commercial and strategic city until it was threatened with inundation by Lake Manzala in the 6th century AD, when it was finally abandoned. The refugees founded the nearby city of Tennis.
The Hebrew story adopted by Christianity of Moses’ being found in the marshes of the Nile River as told in Exodus 2:3-5 is commonly located at Tanis. However, the intent of those stories may be as spiritual as much as historical allegories, as no supporting archaeological evidence has been unearthed. The demise of the city may well have been siltation of Nile tributaries.