Three of the tombs illustrate one of the darkest periods in Egypt's history, when the princes of Siut played a leading part in the struggle between Heracleopolis and Thebes (Dyns.
After the end of the Old Kingdom Thebes grew from an obscure provincial town to be the seat of a strong line of princes who contended for supremacy with Heracleopolis and eventually triumphed in the XIth Dynasty of Manetho.
Memphis, Tanis, Bubastis, Sais, Heracleopolis had at one time or another at least equal claims. The Ethiopian conquerors of Egypt made Thebes their Egyptian capital, but in 668 Assur-bani-pal sacked the city.
During the XXVth and XXVIth Dynasties silver of the treasury of Harshafe (at Heracleopolis Magna) was commonly prescribed in contracts, and in the reign of Darius we hear of silver of the treasury of Ptah (at Memphis).
ARSAPHES, in Egyptian Harsha,fe, he who is upon his lake, the ram-headed god of Heracleopolis Magna, gained an ephemeral importance during the IXth Dynasty, which arose from his town.
The Middle Kingdom.The long Memphite rule was broken by the IXth and Xth Dynasties, of Heracleopolis Magna (Hns)
The chief monuments of the period - are certain inscribed tombs at Assifit; it appears that one of the kings, whose praenomen was Miker, supported by a fleet and army from Upper Egypt, and especially by the prince of Assiflt, was restored to his paternal city of Heracleopolis, from which he had probably been driven out; his pyramid, however, was built in the old royal necropolis at Memphis.
The Tanite dynasty may have risen from a Libyan stock, though there is nothing to prove it; the XXIInd Dynasty are clearly from their names of foreign extraction, and their genealogy indicates distinctly a Libyan military origin in a family of rulers of Heracleopolis Magna, in Middle Egypt.
Heracleopolis seems henceforth for several centuries to have been capital of Middle Egypt, which was considered as a more or less distinct province.
Heracleopolis Magna, however, with its petty king Pefteuaubasti, held out against Tefnakht, and Pankhi coming to its aid not only drove Tefnakht out of Middle Egypt, but also captured Memphis and received the submission of the princes and chiefs; in all these included four kings and fourteen other chiefs.