Memphis, Egypt, was the capital city along the Nile’s west bank beginning in the Old Kingdom in the third millennium BC. It is now an open-air museum containing ruins, a sphinx, granite statues and monuments. The site’s main treasure is inside a two-story courtyard: a magnificent, 33 foot statue of the reclining Ramesses II. He reigned from 1279 to 1213 BC during the New Kingdom era. This stunning limestone statue is called the Colossus of Ramesses. It used to stand outside the God Ptah temple. His idealistic image includes the royal headdress called a nemes, the diadem headband and the uraeus cobra snake, plus his false, rectangular beard.