Aswan




Aswan (/æsˈwɑːn, ɑːs-/, also US: /ˈæswɑːn, ˈɑːs-, ˈæz-/;[1][2][3][4] Arabic: أسوان‎, romanizedʾAswān [ʔɑsˈwɑːn]; Coptic: Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, romanized: Souan pronounced [swaːn]) is a city in the south of Egypt, and is the capital of the Aswan Governorate.

Aswan is a busy market and tourist centre located just north of the Aswan Dam on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract. The modern city has expanded and includes the formerly separate community on the island of Elephantine.

The city is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the category of craft and folk art.[5]

Aswan is a large tourist city where the current population is 1,568,000.[6]

Aswan was formerly spelled Assuan or Assouan. Names in other languages include (Arabic: أسوان‎, romanizedʾAswān; Ancient Egyptian: Swenett; Coptic: Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, romanized: Souan; Ancient Greek: Συήνη, romanizedSuēnē; proposed Biblical Hebrew: סְוֵנֵה). The Nubians also call the city Dib which means "fortress, palace" and is derived from the Old Nubian name ⲇⲡ̅ⲡⲓ.[7]

Aswan is the ancient city of Swenett, later known as Syene, which in antiquity was the frontier town of Ancient Egypt facing the south. Swenett is supposed to have derived its name from an Egyptian goddess with the same name.[9] 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",[10] or "market".[11]

Because the Ancient Egyptians oriented themselves toward the origin of the life-giving waters of the Nile in the south, and as Swenett was the southernmost town in the country, Egypt always was conceived to "open" or begin at Swenett.[9] The city stood upon a peninsula on the right (east) bank of the Nile, immediately below (and 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 worked in these 3,000 years ago are still visible in the native rock. They lie on either bank of the Nile, and a road, 6.5 km (4.0 mi) in length, was cut beside them from Syene to Philae.

Swenett was equally important as a military station as a place of traffic. Under every dynasty it was a garrison town; and here tolls and customs were levied on all boats passing southwards and northwards. Around 330, the legion stationed here received a bishop from Alexandria; this later became the Coptic Diocese of Syene.[12] The city is mentioned by numerous ancient writers, including Herodotus,[13] Strabo,[14] Stephanus of Byzantium,[15] Ptolemy,[16] Pliny the Elder,[17] Vitruvius,[18] and it appears on the Antonine Itinerary.[19] It may also be mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel and the Book of Isaiah.[20]

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 1400 of the staff, and so could scarcely be discerned, and the northern limb of the Sun's disc would be nearly vertical.[citation needed]

The Nile is nearly 650 m (0.40 mi) wide above Aswan. From this frontier town to the northern extremity of Egypt, the river flows for more than 1,200 km (750 mi) without bar or cataract. The voyage from Aswan to Alexandria usually took 21 to 28 days in favorable weather.

In April 2018, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of the head of the bust of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius at the Temple of Kom Ombo during work to protect the site from groundwater.[21][22][23]

In September 2018, the Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany announced that a sandstone sphinx statue had been discovered at the temple of Kom Ombo. The statue, measuring approximately 28 cm (11 in) in width and 38 cm (15 in) in height, likely dates to the Ptolemaic Dynasty.[24][25][26]

Archaeologists discovered 35 mummified remains of Egyptians in a tomb in Aswan in 2019. Italian archaeologist Patrizia Piacentini and El-Enany both reported that the tomb, where the remains of ancient men, women and children were found, dates back to the Greco-Roman period between 332 BC and 395 AD. While the findings assumed belonging to a mother and a child were well preserved, others had suffered major destruction. Other than the mummies, artifacts including painted funerary masks, vases of bitumen used in mummification, pottery and wooden figurines were revealed. Thanks to the hieroglyphics on the tomb, it was detected that the tomb belongs to a tradesman named Tjit.[27][28][29]

“It’s a very important discovery because we added something to the history of Aswan that was missing. We knew about tombs and necropoli dating back to the second and third millennium, but we didn’t know where the people who lived in the last part of the Pharaoh era were. Aswan, on the southern border of Egypt, was also a very important trading city” Piacentini said.[27][28][29]

In February 2021, archaeologists from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of Ptolemaic period temple, a Roman fort, an early Coptic church and an inscription written in hieratic script at an archaeological site called Shiha Fort in Aswan. According to Mostafa Waziri, crumbling temple was decorated with palm leaf carvings and an incomplete sandstone panel that described a Roman emperor. According to researcher Abdel Badie, generally, the church contained ovens that were used to bake pottery, four rooms, a long hall, stairs, and stone tiles.[30][31]

Aswan has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) like the rest of Egypt. Aswan and Luxor have the hottest summer days of any city in Egypt. Aswan is one of the hottest, sunniest and driest cities in the world. Average high temperatures are consistently above 40 °C (104.0 °F) during summer (June, July, August and also September) while average low temperatures remain above 25 °C (77.0 °F). Average high temperatures remain above 23 °C (73.4 °F) during the coldest month of the year while average low temperatures remain above 8 °C (46.4 °F). Summers are very prolonged and extremely hot with blazing sunshine although desert heat is dry. Winters are brief and pleasantly mild, though nights may be cool at times.

The climate of Aswan is extremely dry year-round, with less than 1 mm (0 in) of average annual precipitation. The desert city is one of the driest ones in the world, and rainfall doesn't occur every year, as of early 2001, the last rain there was seven years earlier. Aswan is one of the least humid cities on the planet, with an average relative humidity of only 26%, with a maximum mean of 42% during winter and a minimum mean of 16% during summer.

The weather of Aswan is extremely clear, bright and sunny year-round, in all seasons, with a low seasonal variation, with almost 4,000 hours of annual sunshine, very close to the maximum theoretical sunshine duration. Aswan is one of the sunniest places on Earth.

The highest record temperature was 51 °C (124 °F) on July 4, 1918, and the lowest record temperature was −2.4 °C (27.7 °F) on January 6, 1989.[32]

In 1999, South Valley University was inaugurated and it has three branches; Aswan, Qena and Hurghada. The university grew steadily and is now firmly established as an institution of higher education in Upper Egypt. The Aswan branch of Assiut University opened in 1973.

Aswan also houses the Aswan Higher Institute of Social Work, which was established in 1975.

Aswan is served by the Aswan International Airport. Train and bus service is also available. Taxis and rickshaws are used for transport.

Aswan is twinned with:

Archangel Michael's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, built in the Coptic style

El-Tabia Mosque in Aswan

The Lotus-Tower near Aswan

Nubia Museum entrance

Fatimid Cemetery

Unfinished Obelisk in Aswan

Monastery of St. Simeon

A street parallel to Corniche in Aswan

Aswan Bridge

Aswan Botanical Garden

Aswan Courthouse

Aswan souq

Aswan station

Gharb Seheil

Nubian village in Elephantine Island

Qubbet el-Hawa

Feluccas in Aswan

A view along the street connecting the railway station and the Nile

Aswan (/æsˈwɑːn, ɑːs-/, also US: /ˈæswɑːn, ˈɑːs-, ˈæz-/;[1][2][3][4] Arabic: أسوان‎, romanizedʾAswān [ʔɑsˈwɑːn]; Coptic: Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, romanized: Souan pronounced [swaːn]) is a city in the south of Egypt, and is the capital of the Aswan Governorate.

Aswan is a busy market and tourist centre located just north of the Aswan Dam on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract. The modern city has expanded and includes the formerly separate community on the island of Elephantine.

The city is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the category of craft and folk art.[5]

Aswan is a large tourist city where the current population is 1,568,000.[6]

Aswan was formerly spelled Assuan or Assouan. Names in other languages include (Arabic: أسوان‎, romanizedʾAswān; Ancient Egyptian: Swenett; Coptic: Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, romanized: Souan; Ancient Greek: Συήνη, romanizedSuēnē; proposed Biblical Hebrew: סְוֵנֵה). The Nubians also call the city Dib which means "fortress, palace" and is derived from the Old Nubian name ⲇⲡ̅ⲡⲓ.[7]

Aswan is the ancient city of Swenett, later known as Syene, which in antiquity was the frontier town of Ancient Egypt facing the south. Swenett is supposed to have derived its name from an Egyptian goddess with the same name.[9] 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",[10] or "market".[11]

Because the Ancient Egyptians oriented themselves toward the origin of the life-giving waters of the Nile in the south, and as Swenett was the southernmost town in the country, Egypt always was conceived to "open" or begin at Swenett.[9] The city stood upon a peninsula on the right (east) bank of the Nile, immediately below (and 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 worked in these 3,000 years ago are still visible in the native rock. They lie on either bank of the Nile, and a road, 6.5 km (4.0 mi) in length, was cut beside them from Syene to Philae.

Swenett was equally important as a military station as a place of traffic. Under every dynasty it was a garrison town; and here tolls and customs were levied on all boats passing southwards and northwards. Around 330, the legion stationed here received a bishop from Alexandria; this later became the Coptic Diocese of Syene.[12] The city is mentioned by numerous ancient writers, including Herodotus,[13] Strabo,[14] Stephanus of Byzantium,[15] Ptolemy,[16] Pliny the Elder,[17] Vitruvius,[18] and it appears on the Antonine Itinerary.[19] It may also be mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel and the Book of Isaiah.[20]

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 1400 of the staff, and so could scarcely be discerned, and the northern limb of the Sun's disc would be nearly vertical.[citation needed]

The Nile is nearly 650 m (0.40 mi) wide above Aswan. From this frontier town to the northern extremity of Egypt, the river flows for more than 1,200 km (750 mi) without bar or cataract. The voyage from Aswan to Alexandria usually took 21 to 28 days in favorable weather.

In April 2018, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of the head of the bust of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius at the Temple of Kom Ombo during work to protect the site from groundwater.[21][22][23]

In September 2018, the Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany announced that a sandstone sphinx statue had been discovered at the temple of Kom Ombo. The statue, measuring approximately 28 cm (11 in) in width and 38 cm (15 in) in height, likely dates to the Ptolemaic Dynasty.[24][25][26]

Archaeologists discovered 35 mummified remains of Egyptians in a tomb in Aswan in 2019. Italian archaeologist Patrizia Piacentini and El-Enany both reported that the tomb, where the remains of ancient men, women and children were found, dates back to the Greco-Roman period between 332 BC and 395 AD. While the findings assumed belonging to a mother and a child were well preserved, others had suffered major destruction. Other than the mummies, artifacts including painted funerary masks, vases of bitumen used in mummification, pottery and wooden figurines were revealed. Thanks to the hieroglyphics on the tomb, it was detected that the tomb belongs to a tradesman named Tjit.[27][28][29]

“It’s a very important discovery because we added something to the history of Aswan that was missing. We knew about tombs and necropoli dating back to the second and third millennium, but we didn’t know where the people who lived in the last part of the Pharaoh era were. Aswan, on the southern border of Egypt, was also a very important trading city” Piacentini said.[27][28][29]

In February 2021, archaeologists from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of Ptolemaic period temple, a Roman fort, an early Coptic church and an inscription written in hieratic script at an archaeological site called Shiha Fort in Aswan. According to Mostafa Waziri, crumbling temple was decorated with palm leaf carvings and an incomplete sandstone panel that described a Roman emperor. According to researcher Abdel Badie, generally, the church contained ovens that were used to bake pottery, four rooms, a long hall, stairs, and stone tiles.[30][31]

Aswan has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) like the rest of Egypt. Aswan and Luxor have the hottest summer days of any city in Egypt. Aswan is one of the hottest, sunniest and driest cities in the world. Average high temperatures are consistently above 40 °C (104.0 °F) during summer (June, July, August and also September) while average low temperatures remain above 25 °C (77.0 °F). Average high temperatures remain above 23 °C (73.4 °F) during the coldest month of the year while average low temperatures remain above 8 °C (46.4 °F). Summers are very prolonged and extremely hot with blazing sunshine although desert heat is dry. Winters are brief and pleasantly mild, though nights may be cool at times.

The climate of Aswan is extremely dry year-round, with less than 1 mm (0 in) of average annual precipitation. The desert city is one of the driest ones in the world, and rainfall doesn't occur every year, as of early 2001, the last rain there was seven years earlier. Aswan is one of the least humid cities on the planet, with an average relative humidity of only 26%, with a maximum mean of 42% during winter and a minimum mean of 16% during summer.

The weather of Aswan is extremely clear, bright and sunny year-round, in all seasons, with a low seasonal variation, with almost 4,000 hours of annual sunshine, very close to the maximum theoretical sunshine duration. Aswan is one of the sunniest places on Earth.

The highest record temperature was 51 °C (124 °F) on July 4, 1918, and the lowest record temperature was −2.4 °C (27.7 °F) on January 6, 1989.[32]

In 1999, South Valley University was inaugurated and it has three branches; Aswan, Qena and Hurghada. The university grew steadily and is now firmly established as an institution of higher education in Upper Egypt. The Aswan branch of Assiut University opened in 1973.

Aswan also houses the Aswan Higher Institute of Social Work, which was established in 1975.

Aswan is served by the Aswan International Airport. Train and bus service is also available. Taxis and rickshaws are used for transport.

Aswan is twinned with:

Archangel Michael's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, built in the Coptic style

El-Tabia Mosque in Aswan

The Lotus-Tower near Aswan

Nubia Museum entrance

Fatimid Cemetery

Unfinished Obelisk in Aswan

Monastery of St. Simeon

A street parallel to Corniche in Aswan

Aswan Bridge

Aswan Botanical Garden

Aswan Courthouse

Aswan souq

Aswan station

Gharb Seheil

Nubian village in Elephantine Island

Qubbet el-Hawa

Feluccas in Aswan

A view along the street connecting the railway station and the Nile

Aswan (/æsˈwɑːn, ɑːs-/, also US: /ˈæswɑːn, ˈɑːs-, ˈæz-/;[1][2][3][4] Arabic: أسوان‎, romanizedʾAswān [ʔɑsˈwɑːn]; Coptic: Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, romanized: Souan pronounced [swaːn]) is a city in the south of Egypt, and is the capital of the Aswan Governorate.

Aswan is a busy market and tourist centre located just north of the Aswan Dam on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract. The modern city has expanded and includes the formerly separate community on the island of Elephantine.

The city is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the category of craft and folk art.[5]

Aswan is a large tourist city where the current population is 1,568,000.[6]

Aswan was formerly spelled Assuan or Assouan. Names in other languages include (Arabic: أسوان‎, romanizedʾAswān; Ancient Egyptian: Swenett; Coptic: Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, romanized: Souan; Ancient Greek: Συήνη, romanizedSuēnē; proposed Biblical Hebrew: סְוֵנֵה). The Nubians also call the city Dib which means "fortress, palace" and is derived from the Old Nubian name ⲇⲡ̅ⲡⲓ.[7]

Aswan is the ancient city of Swenett, later known as Syene, which in antiquity was the frontier town of Ancient Egypt facing the south. Swenett is supposed to have derived its name from an Egyptian goddess with the same name.[9] 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",[10] or "market".[11]

Because the Ancient Egyptians oriented themselves toward the origin of the life-giving waters of the Nile in the south, and as Swenett was the southernmost town in the country, Egypt always was conceived to "open" or begin at Swenett.[9] The city stood upon a peninsula on the right (east) bank of the Nile, immediately below (and 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 worked in these 3,000 years ago are still visible in the native rock. They lie on either bank of the Nile, and a road, 6.5 km (4.0 mi) in length, was cut beside them from Syene to Philae.

Swenett was equally important as a military station as a place of traffic. Under every dynasty it was a garrison town; and here tolls and customs were levied on all boats passing southwards and northwards. Around 330, the legion stationed here received a bishop from Alexandria; this later became the Coptic Diocese of Syene.[12] The city is mentioned by numerous ancient writers, including Herodotus,[13] Strabo,[14] Stephanus of Byzantium,[15] Ptolemy,[16] Pliny the Elder,[17] Vitruvius,[18] and it appears on the Antonine Itinerary.[19] It may also be mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel and the Book of Isaiah.[20]

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 1400 of the staff, and so could scarcely be discerned, and the northern limb of the Sun's disc would be nearly vertical.[citation needed]

The Nile is nearly 650 m (0.40 mi) wide above Aswan. From this frontier town to the northern extremity of Egypt, the river flows for more than 1,200 km (750 mi) without bar or cataract. The voyage from Aswan to Alexandria usually took 21 to 28 days in favorable weather.

In April 2018, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of the head of the bust of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius at the Temple of Kom Ombo during work to protect the site from groundwater.[21][22][23]

In September 2018, the Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany announced that a sandstone sphinx statue had been discovered at the temple of Kom Ombo. The statue, measuring approximately 28 cm (11 in) in width and 38 cm (15 in) in height, likely dates to the Ptolemaic Dynasty.[24][25][26]

Archaeologists discovered 35 mummified remains of Egyptians in a tomb in Aswan in 2019. Italian archaeologist Patrizia Piacentini and El-Enany both reported that the tomb, where the remains of ancient men, women and children were found, dates back to the Greco-Roman period between 332 BC and 395 AD. While the findings assumed belonging to a mother and a child were well preserved, others had suffered major destruction. Other than the mummies, artifacts including painted funerary masks, vases of bitumen used in mummification, pottery and wooden figurines were revealed. Thanks to the hieroglyphics on the tomb, it was detected that the tomb belongs to a tradesman named Tjit.[27][28][29]

“It’s a very important discovery because we added something to the history of Aswan that was missing. We knew about tombs and necropoli dating back to the second and third millennium, but we didn’t know where the people who lived in the last part of the Pharaoh era were. Aswan, on the southern border of Egypt, was also a very important trading city” Piacentini said.[27][28][29]

In February 2021, archaeologists from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of Ptolemaic period temple, a Roman fort, an early Coptic church and an inscription written in hieratic script at an archaeological site called Shiha Fort in Aswan. According to Mostafa Waziri, crumbling temple was decorated with palm leaf carvings and an incomplete sandstone panel that described a Roman emperor. According to researcher Abdel Badie, generally, the church contained ovens that were used to bake pottery, four rooms, a long hall, stairs, and stone tiles.[30][31]

Aswan has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) like the rest of Egypt. Aswan and Luxor have the hottest summer days of any city in Egypt. Aswan is one of the hottest, sunniest and driest cities in the world. Average high temperatures are consistently above 40 °C (104.0 °F) during summer (June, July, August and also September) while average low temperatures remain above 25 °C (77.0 °F). Average high temperatures remain above 23 °C (73.4 °F) during the coldest month of the year while average low temperatures remain above 8 °C (46.4 °F). Summers are very prolonged and extremely hot with blazing sunshine although desert heat is dry. Winters are brief and pleasantly mild, though nights may be cool at times.

The climate of Aswan is extremely dry year-round, with less than 1 mm (0 in) of average annual precipitation. The desert city is one of the driest ones in the world, and rainfall doesn't occur every year, as of early 2001, the last rain there was seven years earlier. Aswan is one of the least humid cities on the planet, with an average relative humidity of only 26%, with a maximum mean of 42% during winter and a minimum mean of 16% during summer.

The weather of Aswan is extremely clear, bright and sunny year-round, in all seasons, with a low seasonal variation, with almost 4,000 hours of annual sunshine, very close to the maximum theoretical sunshine duration. Aswan is one of the sunniest places on Earth.

The highest record temperature was 51 °C (124 °F) on July 4, 1918, and the lowest record temperature was −2.4 °C (27.7 °F) on January 6, 1989.[32]

In 1999, South Valley University was inaugurated and it has three branches; Aswan, Qena and Hurghada. The university grew steadily and is now firmly established as an institution of higher education in Upper Egypt. The Aswan branch of Assiut University opened in 1973.

Aswan also houses the Aswan Higher Institute of Social Work, which was established in 1975.

Aswan is served by the Aswan International Airport. Train and bus service is also available. Taxis and rickshaws are used for transport.

Aswan is twinned with:

Archangel Michael's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, built in the Coptic style

El-Tabia Mosque in Aswan

The Lotus-Tower near Aswan

Nubia Museum entrance

Fatimid Cemetery

Unfinished Obelisk in Aswan

Monastery of St. Simeon

A street parallel to Corniche in Aswan

Aswan Bridge

Aswan Botanical Garden

Aswan Courthouse

Aswan souq

Aswan station

Gharb Seheil

Nubian village in Elephantine Island

Qubbet el-Hawa

Feluccas in Aswan

A view along the street connecting the railway station and the Nile


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