In the early times before 3000 BC, Egypt was divided into two kingdoms, Lower and Upper Egypt. After the unification of these two parts by King Menes, or Narmer, it was necessary to establish a new capital for the unified country. This new capital was called Ineb-hedj, meaning the White Wall or the White Fortress. Starting from the Old Kingdom, the capital was called Mennefer. That name was derived from the name of the pyramid city of King Pepi the First, "Mn nfr Ppy", which was pronounced afterward by the Greeks as Memphis. "Mn nfr Ppy" means "Pepi's beauty is enduring".
Menes, or Narmer, moved the Nile branches to the west and dug a canal to the north. Thus, Memphis became naturally protected by the Nile from the east, by the new branches from the west, and finally by the canal to the north. From the name of the city, it is possible that Menes, or Narmer, was not satisfied with this natural protection, so in addition he built a wall that surrounded Memphis on all sides except for the south. Today, other than the scattered ruins, most of the city is gone.