Plate sphinx BM GR1965.9-30.705.jpg
Seated sphinx plate, Eastern Greek Orientalizing, 6th century BC, from Naukratis
Naucratis is located in Egypt
Shown within Egypt
LocationBeheira Governorate, Egypt
RegionLower Egypt
Coordinates30°54′04″N 30°35′33″E / 30°54′04″N 30°35′33″E / 30.90111; 30.59250
Associated withAthenaeus

Naucratis or Naukratis (Greek: Ναύκρατις, "Naval Command";[1] Egyptian: Piemro) was a city of Ancient Egypt, on the Canopic branch of the Nile river, and 45 mi (72 km) southeast of the open sea and Alexandria. It was the first and, for much of its early history, the only permanent Greek colony in Egypt; it was a symbiotic nexus for the interchange of Greek and Egyptian art and culture.

The modern villages of Kom Gi’eif, el-Nibeira and el-Niqrash cover the archaeological site,[2] which has become a find of the highest significance and the source of not only many beautiful objects of art now gracing the museums of the world but also an important source of some of the earliest Greek writing in existence, from the inscriptions on its pottery.

The sister port of Naucratis was the harbour town of Thonis/Heracleion, which was undiscovered until 2000.


Archaeological evidence suggests that the history of the ancient Greeks in Egypt dates back at least to Mycenaean times ( 1600-1100 BC) and more likely even further back into the proto-Greek Minoan age. This history is strictly one of commerce as no permanent Greek settlements have been found of these cultures to date.

After the collapse of Mycenaean Greek civilization and the ensuing Greek dark ages (c1100 - 750 BC) a "renaissance" of Greek culture flourished in the 7th century BC and with it came renewed contact with the East and its two great river civilizations of Mesopotamia and the Nile.

Map indicating location of Naucratis-the Nile delta has shifted since ancient days; the city was situated directly on the Canopic (westernmost) branch.

The first report of Greeks in 7th century BC Egypt is a story in the Histories of Herodotus of Ionian and Carian pirates forced by storm to land on or near the Nile Delta. It relates the plight of the Saite Pharaoh Psammetichus I (Psamtik) (c. 664-610) of the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt overthrown and in desperation, seeking the advice of the Oracle of Leto at Buto who cryptically advises him to enlist the aid of "brazen men" who would "come from the sea." Inspired upon seeing the bronze armor of the shipwrecked pirates, he offers them rewards in return for their aid in his campaign of return to power. Upon the success of this endeavor he makes good on his word and bestows on the mercenaries two parcels of land (or "camps" στρατόπεδα) on either side of the Pelusian branch of the Nile.[3]

At present these sites remain uncertain but this may be a reference to the city of Daphnae.

Other Languages
العربية: ناوكراتيس
български: Навкратис
català: Nàucratis
Cebuano: Naucratis
čeština: Naukratis
Deutsch: Naukratis
Ελληνικά: Ναύκρατις
español: Náucratis
euskara: Naukratis
فارسی: ناوکراتیس
français: Naucratis
Bahasa Indonesia: Naucratis
italiano: Naucrati
עברית: נאוקרטיס
қазақша: Навкратис
Latina: Naucratis
magyar: Naukratisz
Nederlands: Naucratis
norsk: Naukratis
polski: Naukratis
português: Náucratis
русский: Навкратис
slovenčina: Naukratis
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Naukratis
svenska: Naukratis
українська: Навкратіс