official_name = Aswan
native_name = أسوان
image_caption = View of Aswan, overlooking the Nile
mapsize = 200px
leader_title = Governor
leader_name = Samir Youssef
population_total = 200000
timezone = EET
utc_offset = +2
timezone_DST = EEST
utc_offset_DST = +3
| latd= 24|latm= 05|lats=|latNS=N
longd= 32|longm= 56|longs=|longEW=E
latitude = 24°05'N
longitude = 32°56'E
Aswan (formerly spelled Assuan), (in standard _ar. أسوان "Aswān") Egyptian: Swenet ("trade"), Coptic: Coptic|ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ Swān; Greek: polytonic|Συήνη Syene; Spanish: Asuán) is a city in the south of
Egypt, the capital of the Aswan Governorate.
It stands on the east bank of the
Nileat the first cataractand is a busy market and tourist center. Its ancient name, Swenet, translates as "trade". It contains the island of Elephantine.
Aswan is one of the driest inhabited places in the world; as of early 2001, the last rain there was six years earlier. As of 8 September 2008, the last rainfall was a thunderstorm on
May 13 2006. In Nubian settlements, they generally do not bother to roof all of the rooms in their houses.
Aswan is the ancient city of "Swenet", which in antiquity was the frontier town of
Ancient Egyptto the south. Swenet is supposed to have derived its name from an Egyptian goddesswith the same name. This goddess later was identified as Eileithyiaby the Greeks and Ilithyaby 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".Fact|date=November 2007
Because the Ancient
Egyptiansoriented toward the origin of the life-giving waters of the Nile in the south, Swenet was the first town in the country, and Egyptalways was conceived to "open" or begin at Swenet.Fact|date=April 2008 The city stood upon a peninsula on the right (east) bank of the Nile, immediately below (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.
Stone quarries of ancient Egyptlocated 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 wrought in these 3000 years ago are still visible in the native rock. They lie on either bank of the Nile, and a road, four miles in length, was cut beside them from Syene to Philae.
Swenet was as equally important as a military station as that of a place of traffic. Under every dynasty it was a garrison town; and here were levied toll and custom on all boats passing southward and northward. The city is mentioned by numerous ancient writers, including
Herodotus(ii. 30), Strabo(ii. p. 133, xvii. p. 797, "seq."), Stephanus of Byzantium("s. v."), Ptolemy(vii. 5. § 15, viii. 15. § 15), Pliny the Elder(ii. 73. s. 75, v. 10. s. 11, vi. 29. s. 34), De architectura(book viii. ch ii. § 6), and it appears on the Antonine Itinerary(p. 164). It also is mentioned in the Book of Isaiah from the Scriptures (ref. Isaiah 49:12).
latitudeof the city that would become Aswan, located atndash 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; the ancients were not acquainted with the exact tropic: yet at the summer-solstice the length of the shadow, or 1/400th of the staff, could scarcely be discerned, and the northern limb of the sun's disc would be nearly vertical. Eratosthenesused measurements at Aswan ( Elephantine) to contest the Flat Earththeory and attempted to determine the circumference of the Earth, using Syene(as the Greeks called Swenet) as the originating point and Alexandriaas the terminal point of a measured arc (based upon shadow length at the solstice) to make an accurate estimate of the circumference of the Earth.
Nileis nearly 3000 yards wide above Aswan. From this frontier town to the northern extremity of Egyptthe river flows for more than 750 miles without bar or cataract. The voyage from Aswan to Alexandriausually occupied between 21 and 28 days in favourable weather.
South Valley University is located in Aswan. It has two faculties of engineering named as Faculty of Engineering and Technology and Faculty of Engineering and Energy. It has also a faculty of science and faculties of humanities.
Temple of Kalabsha
* [http://www.aswanguide.com/ Guide to Aswan]
* [http://www.ianandwendy.com/OtherTrips/Egypt/Aswan/slideshow.htm Photo gallery of Aswan]
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