Make your own free website on Tripod.com

 

Aswan - Egypt
Important Archaeological Sites

Aswan (ancient Syene), city in southern Egypt, capital of Aswan Governorate, on the Nile River, near Lake Nasser. Under the pharaohs, Syene was an important city near quarries that furnished the granite for many Egyptian temples. The period of greatest prosperity, however, was under the Romans. Modern Aswan contains many ancient architectural remains. The city's industries use hydroelectricity produced at the nearby Aswan High Dam. The Higher Industrial Institute (1962) is in Aswan. 

 Aswan is the southern-most city in Egypt. It has a scenic location on the eastern banks of the Nile. Looking across the Nile to the west bank, one can see the desert descend the hillsides to the greenery that hugs the banks of the river. Several islands are sprinkled along the Nile here and rock outcroppings add to the beauty of the surrounding scenery. The fall and winter climate is ideal when near the river - warm, with slight breezes that propel feluccas up and down and across the Nile. The population here is largely Nubian, a distinctly different flavor from Egyptian, more African seemingly.
Since the period of the Old Kingdom, Sian was the door of Africa controlling the trade routes from the south to the north. It was the harbor and the market, its name is derived from Sianite or the red granite extracted from its quarries around. Opposite to Sian or Aswan, is Abou or the island of elephants, the capital of the first district in Egypt, housing the palace of its governor. Because of its geographical position, it had been chosen by Erathostenes to calculate the radius of the earth in 230 BC. Aswan gained more of its importance, after the high dam construction in 1972, it became a source of electrical energy and a water reservoir.
Salvage of the Nubian temples:
 The lower Nubian is that part of the Nile valley lying in between the first and second cataract, its ancient name was Kush. Since the period of the Middle Kingdom, Kush was dominated by Egypt and assimilated gradually the Egyptian influence, the pharaohs of successive dynasties extended the building of their temples to Kush, which is completely submerged under the waters of the High Dam lake. In 1960, the UNESCO started a great world campaign to save the so-called Nubian temples, this successful campaign ended in 1972. Abu Simble temples (280 km to the south of Aswan) Built more than 3250 years ago by the great builder Pharaoh Ramses II, the temples entrances are guarded by the Pharaoh colossal statues. The two temples are completely dug inside the rocky mountain, these salvage took place in 6 phases: Removing 300000 tons of rocks surrounding the temples, cutting the temple into 1036 blocks, and enumerating each one of them, transferring the 15000 tons of enumerated blocks to a higher ground level, reconstruction of the temples, reconstruction of the mountain surrounding the temples (the same phases were applied for the salvage of Philae temple lying between the High Dam and Aswan Dam).
The Monuments of Nubia:
Ancient Nubia is one of the richest areas of Egypt in terms of ancient monuments. Nubia contains 16 temples, amongst the most important of which is the Great Temple of Abu Simbel, 280 kilometres south of Aswan. This temple was carved from the rock in the reign of Rameses II on a rocky hill overlooking the Nile. Four statues of the Pharoah carved from the living rock guard the temple. Nearby is the Lesser Temple of Abu Simbel, dedicated by Rameses II to the goddess Hathor, and also carved from the rock in honor of his wife Nefertari.
Explore the historic of Aswan:
 Born more than 5000 years ago, Aswan has been the main market of the African products; (spices, leathers, ivory, fruits, grains, baskets, mummified and living crocodiles). It is the sunniest winter resort in Egypt, the Nile flowing through amber desert and granite islands covered with palm trees and tropical plants. Elephantine island, and also the ancient Nilometer measuring the floods. Botanical island, a small forest of tropical plants and birds.
Important Archaeological Sites
Abu Simbel Temple:
 280km to the south of Aswan) Lake cruise, it goes up to allowing the passengers to visit a series of temples built by the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom (Kalabsha, Wadel Seboua, Amada, Abu Simble)
Situated at Abu Simbel are two remarkably beautiful temples constructed by the famous pharaoh, Ramesses II. The first and largest was dedicated to the Sun God, Ra Harakhte, while the King in honor of his favorite wife, Nefertari, built the smaller one. These temples are the largest and most spectacular of the many monuments erected by Ramesses II in Nubia. Carved from the living rock, the facade of the main temple is 33 meters high and 35 meters wide and is guarded by frieze of baboons expressing their joy at the rising of the sun, whilst over the main gate is carved the King’s coronation name, Usermara. Between the legs of the four statues are representations of the King’s family, his mother, Muttuy, his wife, and some of his sons and daughters. In front of the temple there are several memorial stelae, including one commemorating the marriage of one of Ramesses, daughters to the Hittite King, Hattusilus II.
Philae:
Built at 2378 years ago, was transferred in 1972 to Aegilika Island which level is higher than that of the artificial lake. This temple was just dedicated to be the goddess Isis.
This site contains several temples dating from the Ptolemaic and the Roman period. The original island is situated to the south of the Aswan Dam. The temple of Philae was rescued by UNESCO from flooding caused by the building of the High Dam, and moved north to the island of Agilka. The Portico of Nectanebo and is dedicated to Isis. The western colonnades follow the shore of the island and consist of 31 coloums. The eastern colonnade joins the temple of Isis constructed by Ptolmey IV. Amond the remains on the island of Philae is the Gateway of Hadrian and a Nilometer.
The Rock Temple of Beit al Wali:
This is located near the High Dam and is a rock cut temple decorated with reliefs dating from the reigns of Rameses II.
The Kalabsha Temple:
 10km to the south of Aswan): Built by the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom and restored by the Romans, dedicated for Egyptian and Nubian gods. Its original location was 40 km to the south of the actual one, and was transferred in the same way as Abu Simble.
Dates to the reign of the Emperor Augustus and is one of the biggest sandstone temples in Nubis, originally dedicated to the god Mandaulis. This temple was mobbed from its original location on the banks of the Nile to its current situation near the High Dam.
Wadel Seboua temples:
 150km. To the south of Aswan, 2 km north the original location) Built by Ramses II for Egyptian and Nubian gods.
Amada temple:
 180km to the south of Aswan, 3 km north the original location) Built by the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom for Egyptian and Nubian gods. The best well preserved of Nubian temples, it was transferred in one block package on triple railways.
The Temple of Edfu
The best well preserved of all Egypt's temples, built 2325 years ago for the worship of the god Horus.
This dates to the Ptolemaic period and is the largest and most complete of the different temples situated along the banks of the Nile. It is located in the city of Edfu. It was a center of the cult of Horus.
The Temple of Kom Ombo:
The only double temple in Egypt, all the elements of the structure are doubled since it was built for the worship of two gods: Haraeoris and Sobek
The double temple dates to the Prolemaic period and its inscriptions contain references to the Ptolemies and to the Roman Emperors, Domitian, Trajan, and Caracalla.
The Monastery of St. Simeon:
Situated on a hill, this well preserved, ancient mudbrick structure overlooks the desert on all sides
Other Attractions
The High dam:
One of the world's largest dams (2100000 kw) and its lake, the second in the world, spreads to Sudan (500 km. Long)
Kitchener Island:
This is situated in the middle of the Nile and contains more than eight hundred specimen palms, tamarisk and other rare botanical specimens. It covers an area of about 18 acres.
The Mausoleum of the Aga Khan:
This is situated on an eminence over looking the western bank of Nile. It is a sumptuous tombbuilt in the Fatimid style as the burial place of the third Aga Khan, leader of the Ismaili sect of Islam.
 

 
 

Main Page