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Aswan

›› The Temple of Philae
›› Temple of Kom Ombo
›› Edfu Temple
›› Unfinished obelisk
›› High Dam
›› Climate
›› The Nubian Museum

Aswan is the ancient city of Swenet, which in antiquity was the frontier town of Ancient Egypt to the south. Swenet is supposed to have derived its name from an Egyptian goddess with the same name. This goddess later was identified as Eileithyia by the Greeks and Lucina by the Romans during their occupation of Ancient Egypt because of the similar association of their goddesses with childbirth, and of which the import is "the opener".

The ancient name of the city also is said to be derived from the Egyptian symbol for trade. Because the Ancient Egyptians oriented toward the origin of the life-giving waters of the Nile in the south, Swenet was the first town in the country, and Egypt always was conceived to "open" or begin at Swenet. The city stood upon a peninsula on the right (east) bank of the Nile, immediately below (north of) the first cataract of the flowing waters, which extend to it from Philae. Navigation to the delta was possible from this location without encountering a barrier.

The stone quarries of ancient Egypt located here were celebrated for their stone, and especially for the granitic rock called Syenite. They furnished the colossal statues, obelisks, and monolithal shrines that are found throughout Egypt, including the pyramids; and the traces of the quarrymen who wrought in these 3000 years ago are still visible in the native rock. They lie on either bank of the Nile, and a road, four miles in length, was cut beside them from Syene to Philae.

Swenet was equally important as a military station as that of a place of traffic. Under every dynasty it was a garrison town; and here tolls and customs were levied on all boats passing southward and northward. Around AD 330, the legion stationed here received a bishop from Alexandria; this later became the Coptic Diocese of Syene. The city is mentioned by numerous ancient writers, including Herodotus (ii. 30), Strabo(ii. p. 133, xvii. p. 797, seq.), Stephanus of Byzantium (s. v.), Ptolemy (vii. 5. § 15, viii. 15. § 15), Pliny the Elder (ii. 73. s. 75, v. 10. s. 11, vi. 29. s. 34), De architectura (book viii. ch ii. § 6), and it appears on the Antonine Itinerary (p. 164). It also is mentioned in the Book of Isaiah from the Scriptures (ref. Ezekiel 29:10).

The latitude of the city that would become Aswan, located at – 24° 5′ 23″– was an object of great interest to the ancient geographers. They believed that it was seated immediately under the tropic, and that on the day of the summer solstice, a vertical staff cast no shadow. They noted that the sun's disc was reflected in a well at noon. This statement is only approximately correct; at the summer solstice, the shadow was only 1/400th of the staff, and so could scarcely be discerned, and the northern limb of the sun's disc would be nearly vertical.

Eratosthenes used measurements at Aswan (Elephantine) to contest the Flat Earth theory and tried to determine the circumference of Earth, using Syene as the originating point and Alexandria as the terminal point of a measured arc (based on shadow length at the solstice).

The Nile is nearly 3000 yards wide above Aswan. From this frontier town to the northern extremity of Egypt, the river flows for more than 750 miles without bar or cataract. The voyage from Aswan to Alexandria usually took 21 to 28 days in favourable weather.

The Temple of Philae
The Temple of Philae Philae (Greek: Φιλαί, Philai; Ancient Egyptian: Pilak, P'aaleq; Arabic: أنس الوجود‎, Anas el Wagud) is an island in the Nile River and the previous site of an Egyptian temple complex in southern Egypt. The complex was dismantled and relocated to a nearby island in connection to the UNESCO project started because of the construction of the High Dam, after being partly flooded by the first Aswan Dam for half a century .
Philae is mentioned by numerous ancient writers, including Strabo, Diodorus, Ptolemy, Seneca, Pliny the Elder. It was, as the plural name indicates, the appellation of two small islands situated in latitude 24° north, just above the First Cataract near Aswan (Ancient Egyptian: Swenet, "Trade;" Ancient Greek: Syene). Groskurd computes the distance between these islands and Aswan at about 61.5 miles (99 km).

Philae proper, although the smaller island, is, from the numerous and picturesque ruins formerly there, the more interesting of the two. Prior to the inundation, it was not more than 1,250 feet (380 m) long and about 400 feet (120 m) broad. It is composed of Syenite stone: its sides are steep and on their summits a lofty wall was built encompassing the island.

Philae, being accounted one of the burying-places of Osiris, was held in high reverence both by the Egyptians to the north and the Nubians (often referred to as Ethiopians in Greek) to the south. It was deemed profane for any but priests to dwell there and was accordingly sequestered and denominated "the Unapproachable" (Ancient Greek: ̓́αβατος). It was reported too that neither birds flew over it nor fish approached its shores.[9] These indeed were the traditions of a remote period; since in the time of the Ptolemies of Egypt, Philae was so much resorted to, partly by pilgrims to the tomb of Osiris, partly by persons on secular errands, that the priests petitioned Ptolemy Physcon (170-117 BC) to prohibit public functionaries at least from coming thither and living at their expense. The Philae obelisk on which this petition was engraved was brought into England by Mr. Bankes. When its Egyptian hieroglyphs were compared with those of the Rosetta stone, it threw great light upon the Egyptian consonantal alphabet.

The islands of Philae were not, however, merely sacerdotal abodes; they were the centres of commerce also between Meroë and Memphis. For the rapids of the cataracts were at most seasons impracticable, and the commodities exchanged between Egypt and Nubia were reciprocally landed and re-embarked at Syene and Philae.

The neighbouring granite quarries attracted hither also a numerous population of miners and stonemasons; and, for the convenience of this traffic, a gallery or road was formed in the rocks along the east bank of the Nile, portions of which are still extant.

Philae also was remarkable for the singular effects of light and shade resulting from its position near the Tropic of Cancer. As the sun approached its northern limit the shadows from the projecting cornices and moldings of the temples sink lower and lower down the plain surfaces of the walls, until, the sun having reached its highest altitude, the vertical walls are overspread with dark shadows, forming a striking contrast with the fierce light which illuminates all surrounding objects.

The most ancient were the remains of a temple for Isis built in the reign of Nectanebo I during 380-362 BCE, was approached from the river through a double colonnade. Nekhtnebef is his Nomen and he became the founding pharaoh of the thirtieth and last dynasty of native rulers when he deposed and killed Nefaarud II. Isis was the goddess to whom the initial buildings were dedicated. See Gerhart Haeny's 'A Short History of Philae' (BIFAO 1983) and numerous other articles which incontrovertibly identify Isis (not Hathor) as the primary goddess of the sacred isle.

Temple of Kom Ombo
The Temple of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple built during the Ptolemaic dynasty in the Egyptian town of Kom Ombo. Some additions to it were later made during the Roman period. The building is unique because its 'double' design meant that there were courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world with Hathor and Khonsu. Meanwhile, the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder, along "with Tasenetnofret (the Good Sister, a special form of Hathor) and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands)." The temple is atypical because everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis.
Temple of Kom Ombo
The temple was started by Ptolemy VI Philometor (180-145 BC) at the beginning of his reign and added to by other Ptolemys, most notably Ptolemy XIII (51-47 BC), who built the inner and outer hypostyle halls. The scene on the inner face of the rear wall of the temple is of particular interest, and "probably represents a set of surgical instruments".
Much of the temple has been destroyed by the Nile, earthquakes, and later builders who used its stones for other projects. Some of the reliefs inside were defaced by Copts who once used the temple as a church. All the temples buildings in the southern part of the plateau were cleared of debris and restored by Jacques de Morgan in 1893. A few of the three-hundred crocodile mummies discovered in the vicinity are displayed inside the temple .


The Temple Is Located in the town of Kom-Ombo, about 28 miles north of Aswan, the Temple, dating to the Ptolemies, is built on a high dune overlooking the Nile. The actual temple was started by Ptolemy VI Philometor in the early second century BC. Ptolemy XIII built the outer and inner hypostyle halls. The outer enclosure wall and part of the court were built by Augustus sometime after 30 BC, and are mostly gone. There are also tombs from the Old Kingdom in the vicinity of Kom-Ombo village.

The Temple known as Kom Ombo is actually two temples consisting of a Temple to Sobek and a Temple of Haroeris. In ancient times, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the river bank near here. The Temple has scant remains, due first to the changing Nile, then the Copts who once used it as a church, and finally by builders who used the stones for new buildings. Everything is duplicated along the main axis. There are two entrances, two courts, two colonades, two hypostyle halls and two sanctuaries.

There were probably even two sets of priests. The left, or northern side is dedicated to Haroeris (sometimes called Harer, Horus the Elder) who was the falcon headed sky god and the right to Sobek (the corcodile headed god). The two gods are accompanied by their families. They include Haroeris' wife named Tesentnefert, meaning the good sister and his son, Panebtawy. Sobeck likewise is accompanied by his consort, Hathor and son, Khonsu. , Foundations are all that are left of the original Pylon.

Beyond the Pylon, there was once a staircase in the court that lead to a roof terrace. The court has a columned portico and central altar. There is a scene of the King leaving his palace escorted by standards. Near the sanctuary is a purification scene. On either side of the door to the pronaos are columns inscribed with icons of the lotus (south) and papyrus (north), symbolizing the 'two lands' of Egypt , In the southwest corner of the pronaos is the one column that does not echo the duality of the temples. Here, there are scenes depicting purification of the King, his coronation and his consecration of the Temple. The ceiling has astronomical images , The hypostyle hall has papyrus capitals on the columns. Here, there is an inventory of the scared places of Egypt, the gods of the main towns and the local and national festivals.

In the anti chamber, there are scenes depicting the goddess Seshat launching the building of the temple, followed by a scene of the completed temple with the king throwing natron in a purification ceremony. The staircase leading to the roof is all that remains of the offering hall , Statues to the gods and the builders of the temple once occupied the net room just before the sanctuaries. The ceiling of the pure place to the north still remains with an image of Nut. There is little left of the sanctuaries.

Edfu Temple { Horus Temple }
Horus Temple The Temple of Edfu is an ancient Egyptian temple located on the west bank of the Nile in the city of Edfu which was known in Greco-Roman times as Apollonopolis Magna, after the chief god Horus-Apollo. It is the second largest temple in Egypt after Karnak and one of the best preserved. The temple, dedicated to the falcon god Horus, was built in the Ptolemaic period between 237 and 57 BCE. The inscriptions on its walls provide important information on language, myth and religion during the Greco-Roman period in ancient Egypt. In particular, the Temple's inscribed building texts "provide details [both] of its construction, and also preserve information about the mythical interpretation of this and all other temples as the Island of Creation." There are also "important scenes and inscriptions of the Sacred Drama which related the age-old conflict between Horus and Seth." They are translated by the German Edfu-Project .
Edfu was one of several temples built during the Ptolemaic period, including Dendera, Esna, Kom Ombo and Philae. Its size reflects the relative prosperity of the time. The present temple, which was begun "on 23 August 237 BCE, initially consisted of a pillared hall, two I, Seti I and Ramesses II .
A naos of Nectanebo II, a relic from an earlier building, is preserved in the inner sanctuary, which stands alone while the temple's barque sanctuary is surrounded by nine chapels. The temple of Edfu fell into disuse as a religious monument following Theodosius I's edict banning non-Christian worship within the Roman Empire in 391 CE. As elsewhere, many of the temple's carved reliefs were razed by followers of the Christian faith which came to dominate Egypt. The blackened ceiling of the hypostyle hall, visible today, is believed to be the result of arson intended to destroy religious imagery that was now considered pagan.

Over the centuries, the temple became buried to a depth of 12 meters (39 ft) beneath drifting desert sand and layers of river silt deposited by the Nile. Local inhabitants built homes directly over the former temple grounds. Only the upper reaches of the temple pylons were visible by 1798, when the temple was identified by a French expedition. In 1860 Auguste Mariette, a French Egyptologist, began the work of freeing Edfu temple from the sands.

The Temple of Edfu is nearly intact and a very good example of an ancient Egyptian temple. The Temple of Edfu's archaeological significance and high state of preservation has made it a center for tourism in Egypt and a frequent stop for the many riverboats that cruise the Nile. In 2005, access to the temple was revamped with the addition of a visitor center and paved carpark. A sophisticated lighting system was added in late 2006 to allow night visits.

Edfu Temple Dedicated to Horus, the falcon headed god, it was built during the reigns of six Ptolemies. We have a great deal of information about its construction from reliefs on outer areas. It was begun in 237 BC by Ptolemy III Euergetes I and was finished in 57 BC. Most of the work continued throughout this period with a brief interlude of 20 years while there was unrest during the period of Ptolemy IV and Ptolemy V Epiphanes.

This is not only the best preserved ancient temple in Egypt, but the second largest after Karnak. It was believed that the temple was built on the site of the great battle between Horus and Seth. Hence, the current temple was but the last in a long series of temples build on this location. It is said that the original structure housing a statue of Horus was a grass hut built in prehistoric times. At any rate, there is an earlier and smaller pylon of Ramesses II which sits in a 90 degree angle to the current building.

The main building, which includes a great Hypostyle Hall, was uncovered by Mariette in the 1860s. There are numerous reliefs, including a depiction of the Feast of the Beautiful Meeting, the annual reunion between Horus and his wife Hathor. The reliefs are mostly situated on the inside of the first pylon, and spiritually connect this temple with Hathor's Temple at the Dendera complex. During the third month of summer, the priests at the Dendera complex would place the statue of Hathor on her barque (a ceremonial barge) and would thus bring the statue to the Edfu Temple, where it was believed that Horus and Hathor shared a conjugal visit. Each night, the god and goddess would retire to the mamissi, or berthing house. There is still an entrance colonnade to the mamissi, and reliefs with considerable remaining color just outside the main temple. These images portray the ritual of the birth of Harsomtus, son of Horus and Hathor.

The pylons of the main Temple are about 118 feet high with typical scenes of the pharaoh in battle with his enemies. Within the pylons is the colonnaded courtyard with distinctive, pared columns, which leads into the great hypostyle hall. But on either side of the courtyard there are gates which lead to an area behind the temple and inside the bounding walls. Here, there are inscriptions recording donations of land which were probably transferred from demotic documents. There are also dramatic images depicting the defeat of Seth by Horus. There was an annual ritual called the known as the Triumph of Horus (10 harpoons) which ended in the slaying of a hippopotamus, the symbol of Seth.

The facade of the first hypostyle hall has images honoring Horus and Hathor, and there is an immaculate ten foot tall colossi of Horus as the falcon god here (a matching colossi is was destroyed). As you enter the great hall, you will begin to notice the use of light Even though the temple was build over hundreds of years, it is very harmonious, and ebbs and flow of lighting was certainly purposeful, portraying a feeling of mystery. Just inside the hall are two small rooms, a robing room on the west and a library to the east where the priest would obtain the religious orders of the day. Within this hall are scenes of offering including the temple foundation ceremonies.

Beyond the great hypostyle hall is a second, smaller hypostyle hall which leads to a well called the Chamber of the Nile where the Priests obtained pure holy water. This is a similar arrangement as found at Dendera. On the west side of the room are doors that lead to a small laboratory with recipes engraved on the walls for ointments and perfumes which where used daily to anoint the statue of Horus, and to a treasure room where offerings were stored.

Beyond the second hypostyle hall is the offering hall, followed by the vestibule and finally the sanctuary. There is a granite naos here dedicated by Nectanebo II, making it the oldest relic in the temple. It is probable that a golden gilded wooden statue of Horus about 60 cm tall would have resided on the naos. This statue would have been cared for by the priests in a human manner, being washed, dressed, anointed, fed and entertained.

The sanctuary itself is surrounded by chapels and rooms which, when facing north and in clockwise order, are the chapel of Min, the chamber of linen where the robs of the Horus would have been stored, the chamber of the throne of gods, the chamber of Osiris, the chamber of the West, the tomb of Osiris, the chamber of the victor (Horus), where there is a reconstructed ceremonial barge (barque), chapels of Khonsu and Hathor, the chapel of the throne of Re and a chapel of the spread wings, dedicated principally to Mehit, the lioness who guarded the path the soul passed on its journey towards resurrection. The front chapel on the east is the Chapel of the New Year, a sun court like that at Dendera.

Here, a depiction on the ceiling show the voyage of the solar barque through the Twelve Hours of the day, with an inspiring image of the goddess, Nut. The statue of Horus would be taken from here up a flight of stairs to the roof terrace where it would be recharged by the sun during the Festival of the New Year. The walls of the stairs located in the outer anti-chamber depict this ritual.

Unfinished obelisk
The unfinished obelisk is the largest known ancient obelisk, located in the northern region of the stone quarries of ancient Egypt in Aswan (Assuan), Egypt. It is unknown which pharaoh created this structure. It is nearly one third larger than any ancient Egyptian obelisk ever erected. If finished it would have measured around 42 m (approximately 137 feet) and would have weighed nearly 1,200 tons.[1] Archeologists speculate that it was intended to complement the so-called Lateran Obelisk which was originally at Karnak and is now outside the Lateran Palace in Rome. (Thutmose III obelisk in Lateran, Rome: 105 ft)

The obelisk's creators began to carve it directly out of bedrock, but cracks appeared in the granite and the project was abandoned. Originally it was thought that the stone had an undetected flaw but it is also possible that the quarrying process allowed the cracking to develop by releasing the stress. The bottom side of the obelisk is still attached to the bedrock. The unfinished obelisk offers unusual insights into ancient Egyptian stone-working techniques, with marks from workers' tools still clearly visible as well as ocher-colored lines marking where they were working.

Besides the unfinished obelisk, an unfinished partly worked obelisk base was discovered in 2005 at the quarries of Aswan. Also discovered were some rock carvings and remains that may correspond to the site where most of the famous obelisks were worked. All these quarries in Aswan and the unfinished objects are an open air museum and are officially protected by the Egyptian government as an archeological site .

High Dam
High Dam The Aswan Dam is the general name for two dams, both of which are situated across the Nile River in Aswan, Egypt. Since the 1950s, the name commonly refers to the High Dam, which is the larger and newer of the two. The Old Aswan Dam, or Aswan Low Dam, was first completed in 1902 and raised twice, during the British colonial period. Following independence, the High Dam was constructed between 1960 and 1970.
Both projects aimed to increase economic production by regulating the annual river flooding and providing storage of water for agriculture, and later, to generate hydroelectricity. Both have had immense impacts on the economy and culture of Egypt. The Old Aswan Dam was built at the former first cataract of the Nile, and is located about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) (686 kilometres (426 mi)) up-river and south-southeast of Cairo. The newer Aswan High Dam is located a further 7.3 kilometres (4.5 mi) upriver from the older dam.

Before the dams were built, the River Nile flooded each year during summer, as water flowed down the valley from its East African drainage basin. These floods brought high water and natural nutrients and minerals that annually enriched the fertile soil along the floodplain and delta; this made the Nile valley ideal for farming since ancient times. Because floods vary, in high-water years, the whole crop might be wiped out, while in low-water years widespread drought and famine occasionally occurred. As Egypt's population grew and conditions changed, both a desire and ability developed to control the floods, and thus both protect and support farmland and the economically important cotton crop. With the reservoir storage provided by these dams, the floods could be lessened, and the water could be stored for later release.

The earliest attempt of building a dam in Aswan dates back to the 11th century, when the Iraqi polymath and engineer Ibn al-Haytham (known as Alhazen in the West) was summoned to Egypt by the Fatimid Caliph, Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, to regulate the flooding of the Nile, a task requiring an early attempt at an Aswan Dam. After his field work made him aware of the impracticality of this scheme, and fearing the caliph's anger, he feigned madness. He was kept under house arrest from 1011 until al-Hakim's death in 1021, during which time he wrote his influential Book Of Optics.

Aswan Low Dam
Following their 1882 invasion and occupation of Egypt, the British began construction of the first dam across the Nile in 1898. Construction lasted until 1902, and it was opened on 10 December 1902, by HRH the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. The project was designed by Sir William Willcocks and involved several eminent engineers of the time, including Sir Benjamin Baker and Sir John Aird, whose firm, John Aird & Co., was the main contractor.

The Old Aswan Dam was designed as a gravity-buttress dam; the buttress sections accommodate numerous gates, which were opened yearly to pass the flood and its nutrient-rich sediments, but without retaining any yearly storage. The dam was constructed of rubble masonry and faced with red ashlar granite. When constructed, the Old Aswan Dam was the largest masonry dam in the world. The design also included a navigation lock of similar construction on the western bank, which allowed shipping to pass upstream as far as the second cataract, before a portage overland was required. At the time of its construction, nothing of such scale had ever been attempted.

Despite initial limitations imposed on its height, due to concern for Philae Temple, the initial construction was soon found to be inadequate for development needs, and the height of the dam was raised in two phases, 1907–1912 and 1929–1933, and generation of electricity was added. With its final raising, the dam is 1,950 m in length, with a crest level 36 m above the original riverbed;[5] the dam provides the main route for traffic between the city and the airport. With the construction of the High Dam upstream, the Old Dam's ability to pass the flood's sediments was lost, as was the serviceability provided by the locks. The previous Old Dam reservoir level was also lowered and now provides control of tailwater for the High Dam.

Aswan High Dam Politics and Funding
After the Low Dam was almost over-topped in 1946, the British administration decided that rather than raise the dam a third time, a second dam should be built 6 km upriver (about 4 miles). The post-war years saw major changes in Egypt, including the growth of nationalism, the abrogation of earlier treaties with colonial Britain, and the overthrow of the monarchy, led by the Free Officers Movement, and its ultimate leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Planning for the "High Dam" proper began in 1954, following the revolution, and changed development priorities. Initially, both the USA and USSR were interested in the development of the dam, but this occurred in the increasingly tense readings of Cold War happenings, as well as growing intra-Arab rivalries.

In 1955, Nasser was trying to portray himself as the leader of Arab nationalism, in opposition to the traditional monarchies, especially Hashemite Iraq following its signing of the Baghdad Pact that year. At this time the US was concerned with the possibility of communism spreading to the Middle East, and saw Nasser as a natural leader of an anti-communist Arab league. The US and Britain offered to help finance construction of the high dam with a loan of US$270 million in return for Nasser's leadership in resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. While opposed both to communism and imperialism, Nasser presented himself as a tactical neutralist, and sought to work with both the US and USSR for Egyptian and Arab benefit.

After a particularly criticized raid by Israel against Egyptian forces in Gaza in 1955, Nasser realised that he could not legitimately portray himself as the leader of pan-Arab nationalism if he could not defend the country militarily against Israel. In addition to his development plans, he looked to quickly modernise his military, and turned first to the US.

US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and US President Dwight Eisenhower told Nasser that the US would supply him with weapons only if they were used for defensive purposes and accompanied by US military personnel for supervision and training. Nasser did not accept these conditions and then looked to the Soviet Union for support. Although Dulles believed that Nasser was only bluffing, and that the USSR would not aid Nasser, he was wrong; the USSR promised Nasser a quantity of arms in exchange for a deferred payment of Egyptian grain and cotton. On September 27, 1955, Nasser announced an arms deal, with Czechoslovakia acting as a middleman for the Soviet support. Instead of retaliating against Nasser for turning to the Soviets, Dulles sought to improve relations with him. This explains the later offer of December 1955, in which the US and UK pledged $56 and $14 million respectively towards the construction of the dam.

Though the "Czech arms deal" actually increased US willingness to invest in Aswan, the British cited the deal as a reason for withdrawing their funding. What angered Dulles much more was Nasser's recognition of communist China, which was in direct conflict with Dulles's policy of containment. There are several other reasons why the US decided to withdraw the offer of funding. Dulles believed that the Soviet Union would not actually make good on its promise to help the Egyptians. He was also irritated by Nasser's neutrality and attempts to play both sides of the Cold War. At the time, other western allies in the Middle East, like Turkey and Iraq, were irritated that a persistently neutral country like Egypt was being offered so much aid.

In June 1956, the Soviets offered Nasser $1,120,000,000 at 2% interest for the construction of the dam. The next month, on July 19, the United States State Department announced that it deemed American financial assistance for the High Dam "not feasible in present circumstances."

On July 26, 1956, with wide Egyptian acclaim, Nasser announced the nationalization of the Suez Canal as well as fair compensation for the former owners. Ostensibly, the revenues generated by the canal would help fund High Dam construction. The Suez War broke out, The United Kingdom, France, and Israel were mainly successful in attaining their immediate military objectives, but pressure from the United States and the USSR at the United Nations and elsewhere forced them to withdraw.

In 1958, the Soviet Union stepped in and funded the dam project. In the late 1950s the reservoir raised concern with archaeologists because major historical sites were about to be under water. A rescue operation began in 1960 under UNESCO.

Benefits Of The High Dam
Periodic floods and droughts, known since Biblical times (Genesis 41:35-36), caused devastating effect on the population in the Nile Delta. The dam mitigated the effects of these dangerous floods, such as in 1964 and 1973, and the effects of droughts in 1972-1973 and 1983-1984 that devastated East Africa and Somalia. Also, a new fishing industry has been created around Lake Nasser, though it is struggling due to its distance from any significant markets. The High Dam increased the farmland 500% since 1970.

The dam powers twelve generators each rated at 175 megawatts, producing a hydroelectric output of 2.1 gigawatts. Power generation began in 1967. When the dam first reached peak output it produced around half of Egypt's entire electricity production (about 15% by 1998) and allowed most Egyptian villages to use electricity for the first time

Climate

Weather data for Aswan

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Record high °C (°F)

38
(100)

39
(102)

43
(109)

46
(115)

48
(118)

51
(124)

51
(124)

49
(120)

47
(117)

44
(111)

42
(108)

37
(99)

51
(124)

Average high °C (°F)

23
(73)

26
(79)

31
(88)

36
(97)

39
(102)

42
(108)

41
(106)

41
(106)

39
(102)

37
(99)

31
(88)

25
(77)

34
(93)

Average low °C (°F)

10
(50)

11
(52)

14
(57)

19
(66)

23
(73)

26
(79)

26
(79)

26
(79)

24
(75)

22
(72)

17
(63)

12
(54)

19
(66)

Record low °C (°F)

3
(37)

2
(36)

6
(43)

9
(48)

11
(52)

20
(68)

21
(70)

19
(66)

17
(63)

14
(57)

6
(43)

4
(39)

2
(36)



The Nubian Museum
Nubian Museum The International Museum of Nubia / The Nubian Museum is located in Aswan on an area of 50,000 square meters, 7000 of which are excluded to building, while the rest designed to be the yard of the museum. The building has three floors for displaying and housing, in addition to a library and information center. The largest part of the museum is occupied by the monumental pieces, reflecting phases of the development of the Nubian culture and civilization.
Three thousands pieces of antiquities, representing various ages; Geological, Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic and Islamic, were registered. The open-door exhibition includes 90 rare monumental pieces, while the internal halls contain 50 invaluable pieces dating back to the pre-history times, 503 pieces belong to Pharaonic time, 52 of Coptic era, 103 of Islamic age, 140 of Nubian time, in addition to 360 pieces having the tang of Aswan.
The museum was completed for an estimated construction cost of LE 75 million (approximately $22 million at the time), and was inaugurated on November 23, 1997 The Museum built on steep cliff land, which enables it to create a full scale design for the Nile river from its origins in Ethiopia and Sudan to Egypt, and surrounded by Natural Botanical Garden which contains the most exclusive and famous Green life in Egypt.

The Nubia Museum harbors the history of the "Land of Gold" as the word Nubia in the Hieroglyphic, language of ancient Egypt in which pictorial symbols are used to represent meaning and sounds, means the "Land of Gold"...Hence, this land, over times, was abounding in monumental treasures.

The Nubia Museum, in Aswan, as a matter of fact, is deemed to be one of the most important Egyptian museums. A number of factors have combined together, yielding the magnificence of such museum, as it is the only unique open museum of its kind.

Preparing this museum lasted for ten years, all dedicated for hard work to come up with such lovely museum. Let alone, it stands as a wonderful model of international cultural cooperation representing in United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

In April 6 th, 1959, the Egyptian government appealed to the United Nations Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), seeking help to salvage the monumental sites in Nubia, hence, the area between Aswan and the Sudan was inundated by the Nile waters especially after completing the Aswan Dam.

The response of the (UNESCO), in fact, came fast, as it called upon the international community to contribute to this project.

Since then, (UNESCO) has been a key player in the archaeological field in Egypt. In no time, the executive committee, comprising representative of 15 member states, was set up, and was commissioned with studying technical, monumental and financial reports with the aim of providing the (UNESCO) with basic information required to effectively implement the project.

The (UNESCO), obviously, has contributed much to nudging the entire world to pay more attention to saving such invaluable monuments. By the end of 1975, and as a result of this relentless support on the part of the (UNESCO), the donations influx - contributed by 24 countries - amounted to $ 123304.

Unsurprisingly then that the operation of saving the Nubian monuments was described as the greatest in the history of saving monuments. The operation, as known, included dismantling Abu Simbel Temple, inter alia, moving it to another area to be reassembled once again. Abu Simbel Temple was completely dismantled to 1036 pieces, each with average of 7 to 30 tons, as they were rebuilt on the top of the mountain overlooking the genuine spots, drawn by the ancient Egyptians 3000 years ago.

The world outcry, however, was translated into many concrete actions; donations to salvage the deteriorated-condition monuments, a number of excavation missions - which pursued their tasks in such hard conditions in areas extend 500 kilometres along the Nile banks.

A number of 40 missions have taken part in this great but difficult job, unearthing several priceless treasures dating back to pre-history times; Pharaonic, Greek, Roman, Islamic and Coptic.

Fossils, which were discovered during excavations, undoubtedly provided full knowledge about Nubian life and its development along ages. In January, 1975, the General Egyptian Authority for Antiquities submitted a request to the (UNESCO) seeking the organisation's assistance to preserve the ancient Egyptian monuments, through establishing a city for museums harbouring a cluster of open museums with a view to displaying rare and wonderful monuments of various ages.

Being the main supporter to save the Nubian monuments, the (UNESCO) approved this request, and entrusted the executive committee, responsible for salvaging operations, with assuming the tasks of this new project. This committee was named the "The Executive Committee for the International Campaign for Establishing the International Museum of the Monuments of Nubia in Aswan, and the National Museum for Ancient Egyptian Museum in Cairo".

The International Museum of Nubia is located in Aswan on an area of 50,000 square meters, 7000 of which are excluded to building, while the rest designed to be the yard of the museum.

The building has three floors for displaying and housing, in addition to a library and information center. The largest part of the museum is occupied by the monumental pieces, reflecting phases of the development of the Nubian culture and civilization.

Three thousands pieces of antiq., representing various ages; Geological, Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic and Islamic, were registered. The open-door exhibition includes 90 rare monumental pieces, while the internal halls contain 50 invaluable pieces dating back to the pre-history times, 503 pieces belong to Pharaonic time, 52 of Coptic era, 103 of Islamic age, 140 of Nubian time, in addition to 360 pieces having the tang of Aswan. The work in this unique edifice lasted for 11 years straight, and cost LE 60 million.

The museum of Nubia gained this unique position simply because it harbors unique monuments not in any elsewhere. It houses the statute of Ramsis II, which was laid at the very forefront of the Museum, statute of Amenras the spiritual wife of Amen, she is of Nubian origin. It, also, has the head of the Shpatka, of the Nubian origin, made of rosy granite, head of black granite of Tahraqa, the Nubian King, whose reign during the 7th century BC was said to be full of prosperity. There is a temple of his name with gold-plated pillars.

There are, also, four mummies for nobles, which were found in Kashmatkh town in Nubia. The museum, as well, houses several models and styles of the Nubian heritage, the panorama of the Nile, depicting live image of the River Nile streaming through its banks. There is also a model for the Nubian-style house, typically copied to mirror the nature of life in Nubia.

All pieces exhibited in the museum reflect the character of the Nubia over history and display how it merged with the Islamic civilization on one hand and the mother civilization of Egypt on the other. So, the museum of Nubia plays vital role not only at the level of promoting Nubia to the entire world but also at the level of maintaining monuments and supporting researchers, interested in Nubia, from around the globe.

This, however could be achieved through the museum's study center and the documentation centers which publish more information on the "Land of Gold" in Egypt, the past, the present and the future.

Nubia Museum, which hosts 3000 monumental pieces of several times, ranks tenth in the list of the museums inaugurated in Egypt over the past three years. An array of important museums, however, has been inaugurated; Mohamed Nagui Museum, Modern Egyptian Art Museum, Museum of Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil and his wife, Museum of Ahmed Desouki, Port Said Museum for Modern Arts, Taha Hussein Museum, and the Mummification Museum in Luxor.

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