History Of Kom Ombo
The fertile, irrigated sugar-cane ﬁelds around Kom Ombo, 65 km south of Edfu, support not only the original community of fellaheen (peasant farmers) but also a large population of Nubians displaced from their own lands by the creation of Lake Nasser. It’s a pleasant little place, easily accessible en route between Aswan and Luxor.
The main attraction these days, however, is the unique riverside temple to Horus the Elder (Haroeris) and Sobek, about 4km from the town’s center, which stands gloriously on a promontory overlooking the Nile.
In ancient times Kom Ombo was known as Pa-Sebek (Land of Sobek), after the crocodile god of the region. It became important during the Ptolemaic period when its name was changed to Ombos and it became the capital of the ﬁrst Upper Egyptian nome during the reign of Ptolemy VI Philometor.
Kom Ombo was an important military base and a trading center between Egypt and Nubia. Gold was traded here, but more importantly, it was a market for African elephants brought from Ethiopia, which the Ptolemies needed to ﬁght the Indian elephants of their long-term rivals the Seleucids, who ruled the largest chunk of Alexander’s former empire to the east of Egypt. More information about the history of Kom Ombo can be seen here