Mariette was Born in 1821, at Boulogne, and employed as a teacher in the college of his native town, he was drawn to the study of ancient Egypt by the fact that the town museum had acquired a fine Egyptian sarcophagus from the collection of Denon, one of the savants who had accompanied Napoleons Army of Egypt. The god of Memphis, the most ancient capital of Egypt, was Ptah, the artificer-god, who was supposed to become incarnate in the sacred bull Apis. The great Apis-cemetery which was thus discovered by Mariettes disregard of the limits of his commission is all that remains of the original Serapeum. When the place was complete, it comprised an avenue of sphinxes at least 600 feet in length, leading up to the great temple of Osiris-Apis. No fewer than 141 of the sphinxes were discovered, together with the pedestals of others.