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Herodotus mentioned that from Thebes to Elephantine, which was the city most south of Egypt, there were eight hundred thousand stades. He also cites the oracle of Ammon, who declared: "Egyptians are all people who live below Elephantine and drink water from the Nile."

It seems that this city is renowned through the ages. E. Jomard, a traveler from the early 19th century, in "Annales des voyages, de la géographie, de l'histoire et de l'archéologie” year 1813, from the South, after crossing a granite chain and a last cataract, writes having seeing ancient monuments still standing, sarcophagi and other ruins, in the island designated without hesitation "Elephantine".

The first excavations have been French in the early 20th century. They have located a temple of Satet, a cemetery of sacred rams and the remains of the ancient city. Now, it's a German and Swiss archaeological team which works since several decades on the ruins south of the island called Elephantine (Aswan al-Jezirat). There, they found a city of the Old Kingdom, plotted along an undulating perimeter wall, built of unbaked bricks, in a rounded shape (approximately 170 x 100 m) with a door northwest in direction of an ancient port. Besides homes, the city included a residential area for governor, attics and the sanctuary dedicated to Satet. It was the capital of the first nome of Upper Egypt, a military center and trading center with countries further south.

Its Egyptian name, Abu, Diabou or Yebu, also means "elephant" and simultaneously "ivory". There are two feasible origins of the name: that of the ivory trade from Africa or the shape of the island which reminiscent that of the elephant.

For French language, click here.

My notes of veracity :

Elephantine or Abu Yebu: the ancient city of Egypt on an island of the first cataract of the Nile: 5/5

Tag(s) : #Empire of Egypt, #Kingdom: Upper Egypt

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