Elephantine Island located to the north of the Nile’s First Cataract, is situated between the modern city of Aswan on the east and the pharaonic cemetery of Qubbet el-Hawa to the west.
The Island of Elephantine was important throughout Egyptian history as a religious site, beginning in the Predynastic period and continuing down through Roman times.
Temples and cemeteries are located on the southern end of the island, including a sanctuary of the goddess Satet, who was patroness of Elephantine.
A sanctuary to the goddess was founded in the 2nd Dynasty, and the temple here was rebuilt during the Middle and New Kingdom as well as in Ptolemaic times.
Elephantine Island in Aswan
The ruins of a temple of Khnum, the ram god associated with the First Cataract of the Nile, are also located on the island. The main terrace of this temple dating to the 30th Dynasty still remains in addition to a monumental gateway.
Together with Anuket, goddess of Sehel island, these three deities formed the triad of the Elephantine area.
On the west side of the island is the sanctuary of Heqaib, a 6th Dynasty official, who was buried in a rock-cut tomb in Qubbet el-Hawa.
He was venerated throughout the Middle Kingdom, and his sanctuary is filled with statuary and stelae as well as shrines and offering tables that were dedicated by both kings and the elite.
Nilometer in Elephantine Island
On the east side of the Elephantine Island is the Nilometer, a staircase that was used to measure the height of the the annual floo.
These measurements were done in cubits, approximately the length of the human forearm, with those indicated on the Nilometer dating to the Roman period and later.
The Aswan Museum on Elephantine Island contains artifacts that were discovered on the island, including objects dating to the Predynastic period.
Location and Directions
LOCATION:in the middle of the Nile, west of the modern city of Aswan.
BY FERRY: A public ferry runs every 30 minutes from the Corniche.
BY BOAT: It is also possible to hire a private boat, such as a motorboat or felucca, to take you to the Island.
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Summer: 7 AM-6 PM (last ticket will be sold at 5 PM)
Winter: 7 AM-5 PM (last ticket will be sold at 4 PM)
Egyptian: 10 LE
Foreign: 80 LE