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ancient Egyptian city in the Nile River delta. It became important when the pharaohs of the 19th dynasty (1292-1190 BC) moved their capital from Thebes to the delta and reached its peak of prosperity when its prince, Sheshonk I (the biblical Shishak, reigned 945-924 BC), became pharaoh. Later, however, it shared in the decay of the rest of the country and fell into ruin. The city's god was the cat-headed Bast, whose festival was among the most revelrous in Egypt.