With the 26th Dynasty a strong line of kings ruled again over the whole of Egypt, and this is generally considered the start of the Late Period. The new stability had a very positive effect on the prosperity of the country. There is almost no other period with such a great amount of high quality large scale royal and private monuments, though the bulk were in Lower Egypt, where most have disappeared. In many parts of the country vast private tombs were built, but most of the finest sculptures and reliefs come from the North. The capital of the 26th Dynasty was Sais in the Delta. The city and its cemeteries had been entirely quarried away already by the medieval period. Other major cities include Memphis and Heliopolis. Thebes lost its influential position, although there are also some important monuments there.
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