Buto was an ancient city located about 95 kilometers southeast of Alexandria in the Egyptian Nile Delta. It stood on the Sebennytic branch of the Nile, not too distant from its mouth, and was located along the southern shore of the Butic Lake.
It is fairly clear that prior to Egypts unification around 3,000 BC, the country was probably controlled from the North by one group of people and in the south by another. There were two lands, Upper (because it was up river), or Southern Egypt and Lower, or Northern Egypt. We believe that at this time the most important city in Lower Egypt was Nekhen (Greek Hierakonpolis, meaning "city of the falcon"). Even after Egypts unification during the early dynasties, it remained an important city, and at times, might have been considered Egypts capital. The Greek name for this city would indicate that the chief deity worshipped was probably the Falcon God, Horus.
In the North, Nekhens counterpart was Buto, which we believe is the area known as Tell el-Farain (meaning "mound of the pharaohs") today (though there is some uncertainty regarding this). It is located near a small village that still preserves the ancient name after 5,000 years. During ancient times, it was in Nome VI (Mountain Bull). Just as Nekhen, Buto continued to be an important center into the early dynasties of a united Egypt. We believe that Buto is probably shown on the Narmer Palette as a major Delta center. Wilkinson tells us that Qa'a's Tomb seal impression names a Royal Palace located at Buto as Hwt Pe Hor Mesen (or Hwt Pe Hor Way), which was built during the 1st Dynasty and was still active during the third dynasty.