The Aswan Museum


Currency in Aswan


Aswan Museum And The Ruins of Abu

The Aswan Museum

Aswan Museum

The Aswan Museum and The Ruins of Abu are both located at the southern end of Elephantine Island. The older section of the Museum is set in the villa of the architect of the old Aswan Dam, Sir William Willcocks. The villa was constructed in the year 1898 and was converted into a museum in the year 1912. The newer extension was Included In the year 1998.

The Museum contains mostly antiques found in Aswan and Nubia, even though much of the Nubian artifacts retrieved from temples destroyed by Lake Nasser were transferred to the Museum of Nubia.

The Museum

The Museum’s new annex has a vast collection of objects gathered from the excavations on Elephantine Island, such as statues, weapons, pottery, and utensils, encased mummies and sarcophagi, which dated back to the predynastic to late Roman times. The objects are properly showcased, each with labels in Arabic and English languages, arranged in separate glass cases, each illustrating a specific ancient aspect of life on the island:  hunting, religion, death, trade, weaving, farming, cooking, artistry, etc

The mummy and a sarcophagus, a sacred ram, an animal connected with Khnum, sit to the right of the Museum’s main entrance, which is a chamber by itself. A road behind the Museum leads across the garden to the reminiscent edifice of ancient Abu. Plaques with Numbers and monuments that are restored adequately reflect the long history of the island to the 14th century AD from about 3000 BC.

 The Museum’s most prominent building is Khnum Temple, originally built during the Old Kingdom in honor of the god of flood. It was added to the Museum and partly renovated, used for over 1500 years before being completely reconstructed in Ptolemaic times.

Another distinction is a tiny Ptolemaic chapel, a small pyramid of the 4th-dynasty phase, and it was believed to have been built by Sneferu (2613–2589 BC; father of Khufu of Great Pyramid fame); rebuilt from the Kalabsha Temple (which is presently at the south of the High Dam).  Kalabsha Temple is a rebuilt 18th-dynasty temple, originally built by Hatshepsut (1473–1458 BC) and dedicated to the goddess Satet. It is a graveyard for sacred rams considered to have been the incarnation of the god Khnum and the remains of an Aramaic Jewish settlement dated from the 5th century BC.

In ancient times, other than priestly prophecies and heavenly warnings, the only source that may provide a valid indicator of the possibility of a bountiful harvest is the Nilometer. A mechanism used to measure and determine the level of the Nile. When the Nilometer registered a high water level of the river here in the southern frontier region, this meant a good harvest, and in turn indicated more profits and taxes.

Khnum Temple Nilometer, which was built in the 26th century, is situated below the temple’s southern balustrade. The stone staircase proceeds to a small basin where the maximum level of the Nile is measured. Another staircase with a scale carved into its wall surface leads from the north end of the basin to the water.

The Nilometer of the Satet Temple, constructed in late Ptolemaic at the early Roman period and rebuilt in the 19th century, descends from under the sycamore tree near the Museum to the edge of the river, It has a roofed staircase and fireplaces in the walls must have supplied lighting with oil lamps. While climbing down the stair to the water, take a closer look, and you will see the sculpted names of Roman on the left side of the wall.

Updated On April 30, 2020