Aswan & Abu Simbel

 Explore Aswan With Kemet Travel . Aswan is the southernmost city in Egypt and Egypt’s gate way to Africa. Aswan has always been of great strategic importance . In ancient times Aswan was a garriosn town for the military campaigns agianst Nubia, its quarries provided valuable granite used for many sculptures, temples and obelisks, and it was a prosperous market place at the crossroads of the ancient caravan routes. Today, slower than most places in Egypt, laid-back and pleasant, it is the best place to linger for few days , rest and recover from rigours  of travelling along the Nile. Abu Simbel Temple 230 km south of Aswan is one of the most imposing ,impressive and a great iconic 

symbols of Ancient Egypt , rivaling the Great Pyramid and Great Sphinx , We can reach Abu Simbel by one of our comfortbale touring van from Aswan.

Aswan ancient Egyptian name was Syene ,has a distinctively African atmosphere,in Aswan  the Nile is at its most beautiful, flowing through amber desert and granite rocks,round emerald

 islands covered in palm groves and tropical plants.It has been a favorite winter resort since the beginning of thenineteenth century ,and it`s still a perfect place to get away from it all.

 The city lies on the east bank of the Nile. You can visit a few mosques, but then prepare for an adventure.The bazaarn runs along the Corniche, which continues on to the Cemetery, with its forest of cupolas surmounted tombs from the Fatim id period.

Every night Nubian dancers and musicians perform in the Cultural Center, just off the Corniche.Folkore troupes recreate scenes from villages life and perform the famous Nubian mock stick-fight dances.Aswan  is a strategic location which currently houses a garrison of the Egyptian army.East of the cemetery in the famous area quarries is the gigantic Unfnished Obelisk.Just to the south of this, two Graeco -Roman sarcophagi and an unfinished colossus remain half buried in the sand

The most obvious is Elephantine Island, which is timeless with artifacts dating from pre-dynastic times onward. Just beyond Elephantine is Kitchener`s Island. It was named after the British general Haratio Kitchener and was sent to Egypt in 1883 to reorganize the Egyptian army which he then led against the Sudanese Mahdi.

Edfu was the capital of the second land , it was called Debbo or Edfu ; where as its religious importance as it embarced the remains of the nine gods, who were buried there after completing the creation operation. it was the cradle of the worship of Horus.

The Temple of Edfu is considered one of the best peresrved Egyptian temple ,it is also one of the greatest temples of Egypt. The temple dedicated to the falcon god Horus, the inscriptions on its walls provide important information on language, myth and religion during the Greco-Roman period in ancient Egypt.

Philae in Greak or Pilak in ancient Egyptian, meaning the end defind the southern most limit of Egypt, it is currently an island in the reservoir of the Aswan Low Dam, downstream of the Aswan Dam Lake Nasser, it was begun by Ptolemy II and completed by the Roman Emperors.

Philae Temple was dismantled and reassembled on Agilika Island 500m. from its original home on Philae, the temple dedicated to the goddess Isis . Its various shrines and sanctuaries which include a temple of Hathor, a Birth house and two pylons, celebrate all deities involved in the Isis- Osiris Myth.

Abu Simbel Temples are two massive rock temples at Abu Simbel, a village in Nubia Southern Egypt, they are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser. The two Temples which comprise the site (The Great Temple and The Small Temple) were created during the reign of Ramesses II. They were  created to celebrate Ramesses victory over the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC.

The Great Temple  is the most impressive structure was carved from a sandstone cliff that faced to the east, the stands 30m. high and 35m. long with 4 seated colossi flanking the entrance, two to each side, depicating RamssesII on his throne, each one 20m tall.

Ramsses II curved the small temple of Abu Simbel to the honour of his beloved and beautiful Nefertari whom he deified her and dedicated it to Hathor goddess of lowe, music and beauty.

The little visited Nubia Museum, opposite Basma Hotel, is a treat, a showcase of the history, art and culture of Nubia. Established in 1997, in cooperation with Unesco, the museum is a reminder of what was lost beneath Lake Nasser. Exhibits are beautifully displayed in huge halls, where clearly written explanations take you from 4500 BC through to the present day.

The exhibits start with prehistoric artefacts and objects from the Kingdom of Kush and Meroe. Coptic and Islamic art displays lead to a description of the massive Unesco project to move Nubia’s most important historic monuments away from the rising waters of Lake Nasser, following the building of the Aswan High Dam. Among museum highlights are 6000 years old painted pottery bowls and an impressive quartzite statue of a 25th dynasty priest of Amun in Thebes with distinct Kushite (Upper Nubian) features. The stunning horse armour found in tombs from the Ballana period (5th to 7th centuries BC) shows the sophistication of artisanship during thisbrief ascendancy. A fascinating display traces the development of irrigation along the Nile, from the earliest attempts to control the flow of the river, right up to the building of the old Aswan Dam. A model of a Nubian house, complete with old furniture and mannequins wearing traditional silver jewellery, attempts to portray the folk culture of modern Nubia.

The high cliffs opposite Aswan, just north of Kitchener’s Island, are honeycomed with the tombs of the governors,the keepers of the gate of the south, and other dignitaries of ancient Elephantine Island. The tombs, known as the Tombs of the Nobles,are still being excavated significant finds were made in 2014. Six decorated are open tothe public.

The tombs date from the old and middle Kingdoms and most follow a simple plan, with an entrance hall, a pillared room and a corridor leading to the burial chamber. A set of stairs cutting diagonally across the hill takes you up to the tombs from the ferry landing.

The adjoining tombs of father and son Mekhu and Sabni (tomb numbers 25 and 26), both governors, date from the long reign of 6th dynasty Pharaoh Pepi II (2278-2184 BC).The reliefs in Sabni’s tomb record how he led his army into Nubia, to punish the tribe responsible for killing his father during previous military campaign, and to recover his father’s body. Upon his return, Pepi II sent him his own royal embalmers and professional mourners, to show the importance accorded to the keepers of the southern frontier. Several reliefs in Sabni’s tomb retain their original colours, and there are some lovely hunting and fishing scenes depicting him with his daughters in the pillared hall.

Sarenput was the local governor and overseer of the priesthood of Satet and Khnum under 12th dynasty Pharaoh Amenemhat II (1922-1878 BC).The tomb of Sarenput II (number 31) is one of the most beautiful and best preserved tombs, its colours still vivid. A six pillared entrance chamber leads into a corridor with six niche with wall painting showing Sarenput with his wife (on the right) and his mother (on the left), as well as hunting and fishing scenes.

The tomb of Harkhuf (number 34), governor of the south during the reign of Pepi II, is hardly decorated, except for remarkable hieroglyphic texts about his 3 trading expeditions into central A

frica, right of the entrance. Included here is Pepi II, then only a boy of eight, advising Harkhuf to take extra care of the ‘dancing pygmy’ he had obtained on his travels, as the pharaoh was very keen to see him in Memphis. ‘My majesty desires to see this pygmy more than the gift of Sinai or of punt, Harkhuf writes. Look carefully to see the tiny hieroglyph figure of the pygmy several times in the text.

Hekaib, also known as Pepinakht, was overseer of foreign soldiers during the reign of Pepi II. He was sent to quell rebellions in both Nubia and Palestine, and was even deified after his death, as is revealed by the small shrine of Hekaib built on Elephantine Island during the Middle Kingdom (c 1900 BC). Inside the tomb of Hekaib (number 35), fine reliefs show fighting bulls and hunting scenes.

The court of the tomb of Sarenput 1 (number 36), grandfather of sarenput 2 and governor during the 12th dynasty reign of Sesostris 1 (1965-1920 BC), has the remains of six pillars, decorated with reliefs. On each side of the entrance Sarenput is shown being followed by this dogs and sandal bearer, his flower bearing harem, his wife and his 3 sons. 

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