History




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History Of Aswan

Introduction

The ancient Egyptians recognized the importance of Aswan as the region hosted the richest granite and different strong stones quarries. During the region of the Old Kingdom, the kings and rulers of Egypt took control of Aswan as they knew that it is the first defensive line to protect Egypt against any outer attack coming from Nubia or the rest of Africa to the south.

During the reign of the Middle Kingdom, when kings like Amenmehat I and Senusert II began their successful military campaigns to occupy Nubia, Sudan, and Ethiopia, Aswan was an important stronghold and assembling point of the ancient Egyptians armies.

At the end of the period of the Middle Kingdom, when the Hyksos occupied Egypt, Aswan played an important role in the Egyptian struggle to free the country.

Ahmose, the famous Egyptian king who led the armies to defeat the Hyksos and get them out of the country is said to originate from the region of Aswan. Aswan remained as an important center throughout the ancient Egyptian history.

When the Ptolemies took control of Egypt in the 4th century BC, desiring to gain the love and the respect of the Egyptians, they gave special attention to Aswan as they rebuilt and restored the Philae Temple as at this point in time, the worship of the god Osiris and the goddess Isis, was at its most glorious stages in history.

The Romans followed the same approach as the Ptolemies and they went on giving special attention to the temples of Isis situated in Aswan. The Roman Emperor; Trajan, built himself a small Temple in Philae Temple and it was dedicated to the worship of the Isis.

When Christianity was spread in Egypt, during the 4th and the 5th centuries AD, despite the fact that the Roman Emperors treated the Egyptian Copts unfairly and executed them, many of the ancient Egyptian Pharaonic temples transformed into churches. The Philae Island became the center of one of the Bishoprics and Christianity started spreading towards the South until it reached Nubia.

With the emergence of Islam, the new religion started spreading in the region in and around Aswan and during the 10th century AD, trading Caravans used to pass by Aswan before going to Aydhab, an old port situated on the shore of the Red Sea, before reaching Hejaz, Yemen, and India at the end of their journey.

Even in modern contemporary history, Aswan hosted one of the most astonishing Egyptian achievements. The High Dam, constructed in the 1960s, during the ruling period of Gamal Abdel Nasser, stored the water of the River Nile and helped in providing Egypt with more than 85% of the electricity consumed by the country.

Aswan until today has its own magic. Wandering around the markets of the city, walking along the wonderful River Nile, riding in the Nile a wonderful sailboat, chilling out on the sundeck of a luxurious Nile Cruise ship, or exploring many of the historical sites, Aswan has so much to offer to its guests.