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Aswan (Egyptian swnt/ Greek Syene) - Elephantine (Egyptian Abw)
(2405' N 3254'E)

Elephantine is the most southern city of Egypt, on an island opposite modern Aswan. In the First Dynasty a fortification was built, at the core of a city. Excavations from 1970 revealed a small temple of the goddess Satet, the best preserved temple building of the Early Dynastic Period. The development of the temple can be followed over the whole dynastic period to the Ptolemaic period. Next to it is the temple of the god Khnum. The town was just north of the southern border of Ancient Egypt (the island of Senmut, modern Bigga), and close to important granite quarries. Many rock inscriptions in the quarries, on Elephantine itself and on the islands to the south record expeditions either to the quarries or on their way to or from Nubia. Ancient Egyptian written sources refer to the Elephantine region as location of a secret cavern, the source of the annual Nile flood.

Some rock inscriptions recorded by Petrie
Temple of Satet in the Old and Middle Kingdom
UC 14502
Ptolemaic stela probably from Aswan (click on the image to see a larger picture)
Aswan on a map of Egypt


a demotic tax receipt


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