Enjoy wonderful Egypt Holidays and Aswan tours with Shaspo Tours. Live the enchanting history of the ancient egyptians. Visit the wonderful attractions within Aswan includes: High dam, unfinished Oblisk, Philae Temple, Elelphantine Island and more.
Elephantine Island is the largest island in Aswan. It contains Ancient Egyptian’s artifacts which are dating to predynastic periods. This is probably due to its location at the first Cataract of the Nile, which provided a natural boundary between Egypt and Nubia.
Elephantine in Greek means elephant. . Also in ancient times, the Island, as well as the southern town, was called Abu, or Yabu, which also meant elephant. The town has also been referenced as Kom, after its principle god of the island, Khnum (Khnemu). There is another story which says that the island received its name because it was a major ivory trading center, though in fact, it was a major trading post of many commodities. There are large boulders in the river near the island which resembled bathing elephants and this too has been suggested as a reason for the island's name.
The Island is well-known for its beauty. Although many of its artifacts are ruined, There is still considerable artifacts to see. One of its main attractions is its Nilometer, which is one of only three on the Nile, and was used to measure the water level of the Nile as late as the nineteenth century. There has been an ongoing excavation at the town for many years by the German Archaeological Institute, and many other artifacts are found including a mummified ram of Khnum, are located in the Elephantine Museum.
One of the main attractions of Elephantine Island, is the ruins of the Temple of Khnum. It was considered to be home of this important Egyptian god, and while this structure dates back to the Queen Hatshepsut of the 18th Dynasty, there are references to a Temple of Khnum on the island as early as the 3rd Dynasty.
There are also ruins of a Temple of Satet, who was Khnum's female counterpart (the three local deities were foremost Khnum, but also Satet and a local Nubian goddess Anqet. These gods were worshipped here since the earliest dynasties), also build by Queen Hatshepsut, a shrine to Hekayib from the 6th Dynasty, a local governor who was deified after his death. His cult flourished during the middle kingdom, and some fine statues from the shrine are now in the museum.
You can find also 3rd Dynasty granite step pyramid which is now just visible, and to the north, you can see the mud-brick vaults of the late period which housed the bodies of the royal rams. On the south end of the island is a small one room Ptolemaic temple which was constructed from materials removed from the Kalabsha Temple. And there you can find decorations attributed to the Nubian Pharaoh Arkamani from the 3rd century BC. The building seems to have been finished by the Romans with reference to Caesar Augustus.