The Arabic name of the village, Sa el-Hagar is probably derived form the important site of ancient Sa (Zau), which is better known by its Greek name, Sais, the home of the kings of Dynasties XXIV and XXVI (Saite Period). The modern village lies on the eastern side of the Rosetta branch of the Nile, due west of Samannud.
Over the years the buildings of modern Sa el-Hagar have spread over much of the archaeological site, which may have been an important cult centre of the goddess Neith from as early as Dynasty I. Virtually nothing remains at the site today, its massive mudbrick enclosure walls having been largely removed for fertilizer by the Sebakhin and the town mound destroyed. Herodotus, writing in the 5th century BC, described large obelisks, a sacred lake and a huge granite naos of Ahmose II at Sais, while in the 19th century AD Lepsius…
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