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An update from Evaneos

Elephantine (Egypt)

Practical information on Elephantine

  • Island
  • Viewpoint
  • River
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Archaeological Site
  • Museums
  • Handicraft
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Off the beaten track
5 / 5 - One review
How to get there
10 mins from Aswan by ferry
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Elephantine

Latéfa Faïz Seasoned Traveller
114 written opinions

Elephantine is one of the Nile Valley islands near the city of Aswan.

My suggestion:
It is a really unusual place to visit.
My review

The island of E lephantine is the site of the old Abu (literally "elephant" and "ivory" in ancient Egyptian). Elephantine occupied a strategic position in the ivory trade during the 1st dynasty (about 3 000 B.C.): it was at once an economic epicentre and a customs house, which houses remnants of an ancient fortress in the south of the island.

E lephantine is a fascinating place containing Nubian villages of Siou and Koti in the centre of the island: I liked walking in their gardens and narrow streets which are dotted with trees. I suggest stop at Animalia: an unusual museum, which boasts a rich collection of photographs of Nubia, traditional Nubian handicrafts. The remnants of the original city of Abu extend more to the south of the island. I recommend the temple of Khnum, the largest monument on site and former centre for worship to the Khnum cult, a divinity with a ram's head. Continue your excursion to the small step pyramid, the Ptolemaic chapel, then to the sacred rams' necropolis, which is supposed to incarnate Khnum.

Other unusual places: the nilometres of the temples of Khnum and Satet. A nilometre measures water levels in the Nile, indispensable information for harvests. Khnum has a pool linked to a stone staircase; in Satet, the nooks in the walls indicate where the oil lamps would light the way.

Elephantine Island
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