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Showing posts from October 26, 2013

Gebel Silsila

Gebel Silsila is the name given to a rocky gorge between Kom Ombo and Edfu where the River Nile narrows and high sandstone cliffs come right down to the water’s edge. There was probably a series of rapids here in ancient times, dangerous to navigate, which naturally formed a frontier between the regions of Elephantine (Aswan) and Edfu. In Pharaonic times the river here was known as Khennui, the ‘place of rowing’. On the West bank there is a tall column of rock which has been dubbed ‘The Capstan’ because of a local legend which claims there was once a chain (Silsila in Arabic) which ran from the East to the West Banks. Arthur Weigall in his ‘Antiquities of Egypt’ states that the name Silsileh, is a Roman corruption of the original Egyptian name for the town, Khol-Khol, meaning a barrier or frontier.

 It is hardly surprising that by Dynasty XVIII, travellers had developed the custom of carving small shrines into the cliffs here, dedicating them to a variety of Nile gods and to…

El-Kab | A tour from Luxor

On the east bank of the Nile 100km south of Luxoris one of the oldest settlements of Upper Egypt. The ancient town of Nekheb was called Eleithyiaspolis in classical times and comprises of monuments spanning periods of Egyptian history from Predynastic through to Ptolemaic. El-Kab and its sister site of Hierakonpolis on the west bank of the river were the home of Nekbet, the vulture goddess of Upper Egypt.


 Driving south along the road between Luxor and Aswan the visitor comes first upon the huge mudbrick walls of the town enclosure, 12m thick, which still contain within them the ruins of temples, cemeteries and a sacred lake. The central temple is the oldest of the remains, with its origins possibly dating to the Early Dynastic Period. Of the two ruined structures remaining today, the Temple of Thoth was begun by Amenhotep II in Dynasty XVIII and enlarged by later New Kingdom pharaohs. A contiguous monument, a larger Temple of Nekhbet built during the Late Period, partly…