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Elephantine Island and Nubia

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Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2008, 01:10:19 pm »



               






                                                     
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2008, 01:19:03 pm »

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« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2008, 01:23:51 pm »


             






                                                    
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« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2008, 01:29:11 pm »




               






                                 
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« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2008, 01:34:19 pm »





                                                       






               
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« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2008, 01:37:49 pm »




             
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« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2008, 01:40:01 pm »




                       
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« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2008, 01:43:20 pm »



                   
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« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2008, 01:46:53 pm »




                       
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« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2008, 02:32:00 pm »



             











                                                                   Elephantine Island

 




Elephantine Island is the largest of the Aswan area islands, and is one of the most ancient sites in Egypt, with artifacts dating to predynastic periods. This is probably due to its location at the first Cataract of the Nile, which provided a natural boundary between Egypt and Nubia. As an island, it
was also easily defensible. In fact, the ancient town located in the southern part of the island was
also a fortress through much of it's history. At one time, there was a bridge from the mainland to
the island.

Elephantine is Greek for elephant. In ancient times, the Island, as well as the southern town, was called Abu, or Yabu, which also meant elephant. The town has also been referenced as Kom, after it's principle god of the island, Khnum (Khnemu). It is believed that the island received it's name because it was a major ivory trading center, though in fact, it was a major trading post of many commodities. There are large boulders in the river near the island which resembled bathing elephants, particularly from afar, and this too has been suggested as a reason for the island's name.

                                   


The island is very beautiful, and while many of the artifacts there are in ruin, there is still considerable to see. One of it's main attractions is it's Nilometer, which is one of only three on the Nile, which was used to measure the water level of the Nile as late as the nineteenth century. There has been an ongoing excavation at the town for many years by the German Archaeological Institute, and some of the finds along with many other island artifacts, including a mummified ram of Khnum, are located in
the Elephantine Museum
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« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2008, 02:34:09 pm »














Another major attraction is the ruins of the Temple of Khnum.

Elephantine Island was considered to be home of this important Egyptian god, and while this structure dates back to the Queen Hatshepsut of the 18th Dynasty, there are references to a Temple of Khnum on the island as early as the 3rd Dynasty.

There are also ruins of a Temple of Satet, who was Khnum's female counterpart (the three local deities were foremost Khnum, but also Satet and a local Nubian goddess Anqet. These gods were worshipped here since the earliest dynasties), also build by Queen Hatshepsut, a shrine to Hekayib from the 6th Dynasty, a local governor who was deified after his death. His cult flourished during the middle kingdom, and some fine statues from the shrine are now in the museum.

You will also find a 3rd Dynasty granite step pyramid which is now just visible, and to the north, the mud-brick vaults of the late period which housed the bodies of the royal rams.

On the south end of the island is a small one room Ptolemaic temple which was constructed from materials removed from the Kalabsha Temple. Here, there are decorations attributed to the Nubian Pharaoh Arkamani from the 3rd century BC The building seems to have been finished by the Romans
with reference to Caesar Augustus.
 
                                                 


Other artifacts and archaeological sites have been removed or destroyed. Prior to 1822, there were temples of Thutmose III and Amenhotep III, both of which were relatively intact, but they were destroyed in that year by the Turkish government. A rare calendar, known as the Elephantine Calendar, dating to the reign of Tuthmosis III, was found in fragments, and a Papyrus dating to the 13th dynasty and known as the Elephantine Papyrus was also discovered. It is unclear where these artifacts are currently located. A stela with inscriptions commemorating the repairs made on a 12th Dynasty fortress which honored Senwosret III was also found, and is now in the British Museum.

Elephantine Island is a beautiful place to visit, with wonderful gardens and some truly significant artifacts. It is also a good place to spend some leisure time, wondering among the Nubian villages
where the people are friendly and the houses are often very colorful. The houses often have paintings or carved with a crocodile at the bottom, a fish in the middle and a man on top, with a woman's hand made of brass as a door knocker between the fish and man. Others will have a sacred black cube of Mecca, with a painting depicting the means of the owner's pilgrimage to Mecca.



http://www.touregypt.net/elephantine.htm
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« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2008, 02:45:15 pm »









                                                              N U B I A







Nubia is located in today's southern Egypt and northern Sudan.

The modern inhabitants of southern Egypt and Sudan still refer to themselves as Nubians. They speak the Nubian language as well as Arabic.

Thousands of Nubians from the north were forced to relocate from their endangered homelands to be resettled in Egypt and Sudan.

This land has one of the harshest climates in the world. The temperatures are high throughout most
of the year, and rainfall is infrequent.

The banks of the Nile are narrow in much of Nubia, making farming difficult. Yet, in antiquity, Nubia was a land of great natural wealth, of gold mines, ebony, ivory and incense which was always prized by her neighbors.

Nubia is the homeland of Africa's earliest black culture with a history which can be traced from 3100
BC onward through Nubian monuments and artifacts, as well as written records from Egypt and Rome.

The land of Nubia is a desert divided by the river Nile. For want of water and rich soil, most of Nubia
has never been able to support a large population for long periods.

However, some of Africa's greatest civilizations emerged here, centers of achievement whose existence was based on industry and trade. Because they did not write their own languages until very late in ancient times, we know these centers and their people largely through their archaeology and what the Egyptians and Greeks said about them.

To the ancient Mediterranean world, the land south of Egypt was a territory of mystery and legend. Wealth and exotic products came from there.

It was the home of the Ethiopians, whom Homer called blameless and stories about its great achievements endured to tantalize the modern world.

This land is one of enormous distances, and its exploration was long impeded by problems of transport and political unrest.

In the last hundred years, Nubia has slowly yielded its secrets, its vanished peoples, abandoned cities and lost kingdoms brought to light by the excavator and analysis of inscriptions. This exhibit is a selection of objects recovered over twenty years ago by the Oriental Institute Nubian Expedition in the effort to rescue archaeology from the rising water behind the Aswan Dam.

In the 1960's, a dam was constructed at Aswan, Egypt. It created a 500 mile long lake which permanently flooded ancient temples and tombs as well as hundreds of modern villages in Nubia. While the dam was under construction, hundreds of archaeologists worked in Egypt and Sudan to excavate
as many ancient sites as possible.

The Oriental Institute worked in Nubia from 1960 until 68.

Today, the 5000 Nubian objects in the collection of The Oriental Institute Museum and thousands of objects in other museums are our sole resource for recovering the rich civilization of northern Nubia,
for the sites themselves now lie beneath the waters of Lake Nasser.

In contrast, expeditions from many countries are working in southern Nubia.



http://touregypt.net/historicalessays/nubia.htm
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« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2008, 02:51:12 pm »








                                                            Nubian Traditions




   

The Nubians are believed to be the first human race on earth, and most of their customs and traditions were adopted by the ancient Egyptians. To the Greeks, they were known as Ethiopians and Nubia as the land of Punts, i.e. the land of gods.

A Nubian has been always renowned for his sheer honesty. He is an artist by nature and his lucky number was always seven. He holds the nine as a sacred object and wishes to stay on the Nile bank throughout his life.

A Nubian often prefers to marry one of his or her cousins. A Nubian wedding ceremony often lasts for
40 days, with a long series of rituals. According to traditions, the groom has to present several gifts, particularly garments for the bride, her mother and sisters. These presents are boarded on a camel and adorned with decorations such as colorful silk fabrics and jewelry. During the wedding ceremony the groom is well-dressed, holding a sword and a whip.

The social status of a Nubian is judged by the wealth of land and waterwheels he owns, as well as his noble descent.

Performance of prayers, for a Nubian, is an evidence to his vividness and an object of pride to his tribe. It is further evidence that he is not a charlatan or a slave. A Nubian who doesn’t perform his prayers, is punishable by public disdain and banishment away from the tribe.

A Nubian woman normally bears a loads of jewelry, all over her body. Around the neck, she carries two lines of necklaces, topped by two lines of jewelry, bearing the Divine Name of Allah. On the forehead, there is a piece of jewelry showing a Quranic verse, with a large pair of earrings dangling from the top part of both ears, a second pair from the lower part and a
third in between. The ankle is adorned with a silver anklet and her fingers with silver rings. A Nubian woman adorns herself also with tattoos, normally shaped like a mole on the cheek, a crescent on the forehead or a line drawn from the lip down to the chin or by coloring the nether lip. The Nubian woman is known for her remarkable use of henna ad perfumes.



http://touregypt.net/historicalessays/nubiaf1.htm
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« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2008, 02:53:58 pm »



             








                                                     The Geography of Nubia






Geographical Limits



The land of ancient Nubia was bounded on the north by the First Cataract of the Nile River, located just south of Elephantine, and on the far south by the Sixth Cataract, located north of modern Khartum. In certain periods, Nubia consisted of various ethnic tribal groups or chiefdoms, while in other periods, it was governed by larger and more politically complex kingdoms.

Nubia was the country that bordered ancient Egypt on the south, and through much of its history was politically dominated by the Egyptian state. However, in those periods from the 1st Dynasty onward (ca. 3050 BC), whenever Egypt was unable to maintain her presence in Nubia (e.g., because of her own internal difficulties), the various Nubian cultures flourished and enjoyed their political and economic independence, often formulating kingdoms of great dynamism that were competitive with the Egyptian state.






Political Frontiers



In the Middle Kingdom, Egypt's southernmost border was fixed at Semna, located south of the Second Cataract in an area of narrow gorges and rocky outcroppings, known in Arabic as the Batn el- Hajjar , the "Belly of Stones" (about 68 km. south of the modern Egyptian-Sudanese border). Later in the New Kingdom, Egypt extended her southern border up to the Fourth Cataract, although she exercised military authority further upriver, as far as modern Kurgus
(south of Abu Hamed).

The traditional ancient Egyptian name for Nubia was Ta- Seti , "Land of the Bow" (as in "bow and arrow"). Indeed, the Egyptians gave that same name to their southernmost nome which bordered on Nubia, either because it was adjacent to that country, or else because that portion of southern Upper Egypt was originally part of an earlier kingdom of Nubia with the same name, and which would have existed before the unification of Egypt.
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« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2008, 02:58:44 pm »










The Divisions of Nubia



For purposes of understanding history and geography, Nubia is divided into two great regions,
Lower Nubia and Upper Nubia.

Lower Nubia is the northern region extending nearly 400 km. from the First Cataract to the area around Semna and the Second Cataract. Today, it corresponds to the area of southern Egypt and the northern Sudan.

Upper Nubia, which is south of Lower Nubia, extends upriver along the Nile to the Sixth Cataract and Khartum. It corresponds to what is today the central Sudan. The Nile River, flowing through this region, is often called the Middle Nile .

The Nile flows from south to north, i.e. from the Ethiopian Highlands and modern Uganda to the Mediterranean Sea.

However, the geography of Upper Nubia is dominated by a giant bend of the river between the Fifth
and Fourth Cataracts, in which the Nile actually turns to the southwest for about 270 km. before turning northward again in its passage to the sea.

The area where it flows northward out of the bend and through to the Third Cataract is called the Dongola Reach , named after the Sudanese town of Dongola which dominates this part of the river.

The great bend itself can be called the Dongola-Abu Hamed Bend of the Nile.

This area, in which the water might be thought of as reversing direction, was highly treacherous to ancient navigation because of the speed of the rushing river here and the many rocky protrusions extending for kilometers along the river bed. Hence, this can be characterized as an area of often intense white water.
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