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Aswan (/æsˈwɑːn, ɑːs-/, also US: /ˈæswɑːn, ˈɑːs-, ˈæz-/;[1][2][3][4] Arabic: أسوان‎, romanizedʾAswān [ʔɑsˈwɑːn]; Coptic: Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, romanized: Souan) is a city in the south of Egypt, and is the capital of the Aswan Governorate.

Aswan

أسوان  (Arabic)
Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ  (Coptic)
Nile River in Beauty Aswan.jpg
Al Khattarah Aswan Bridge.jpg
Aswan souq.jpg
Aswan,fatimid cem.jpg
معبد فيلة ..اسوان.jpg
Aswan Nubian Museum entrance.jpg
Counter Clockwise from top:
Aga Khan Mausoleum, Khattarah Bridge, Aswan Fatimid Cemetery, Elephantine Island, Nubian Museum, Aswan Old Town Souk
Aswan is located in Egypt
Aswan
Aswan
Location within Egypt
Coordinates: 24°05′20″N 32°53′59″E / 24.08889°N 32.89972°E / 24.08889; 32.89972Coordinates: 24°05′20″N 32°53′59″E / 24.08889°N 32.89972°E / 24.08889; 32.89972
Country Egypt
GovernorateAswan
Elevation
194 m (636 ft)
Population
 (2012)
 • Total290,327
Time zoneUTC+2 (EST)
Area code(s)(+20) 97

Aswan is a busy market and tourist centre located just north of the Aswan Dam on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract. The modern city has expanded and includes the formerly separate community on the island of Elephantine.

The city is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the category of craft and folk art.[5]

Other spellings and variationsEdit

Aswan was formerly spelled Assuan or Assouan. Spellings in other languages include Egyptian Arabic: أسوان‎, romanized: ʾAswān; Ancient Egyptian: Swenett; Coptic: Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, romanized: Souan; Ancient Greek: Συήνη, romanizedSuēnē.

HistoryEdit

  
 
 
 
swnt.t
in hieroglyphs

Aswan is the ancient city of Swenett, later known as Syene, which in antiquity was the frontier town of Ancient Egypt facing the south. Swenett is supposed to have derived its name from an Egyptian goddess with the same name.[6] This goddess later was identified as Eileithyia by the Greeks and Lucina by 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",[7] or "market".[8]

Because the Ancient Egyptians oriented themselves toward the origin of the life-giving waters of the Nile in the south, and as Swenett was the southernmost town in the country, Egypt always was conceived to "open" or begin at Swenett.[6] The city stood upon a peninsula on the right (east) bank of the Nile, immediately below (and 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.

The stone quarries of ancient Egypt located 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 worked in these 3,000 years ago are still visible in the native rock. They lie on either bank of the Nile, and a road, 6.5 km (4.0 mi) in length, was cut beside them from Syene to Philae.

Swenett was equally important as a military station as a place of traffic. Under every dynasty it was a garrison town; and here tolls and customs were levied on all boats passing southwards and northwards. Around 330, the legion stationed here received a bishop from Alexandria; this later became the Coptic Diocese of Syene.[9] The city is mentioned by numerous ancient writers, including Herodotus,[10] Strabo,[11] Stephanus of Byzantium,[12] Ptolemy,[13] Pliny the Elder,[14] Vitruvius,[15] and it appears on the Antonine Itinerary.[16] It may also be mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel and the Book of Isaiah.[17]

 
View from the west bank of the Nile, islands, and Aswan

The latitude of the city that would become Aswan – located at 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; at the summer solstice, the shadow was only ​1400 of the staff, and so could scarcely be discerned, and the northern limb of the Sun's disc would be nearly vertical. However, Eratosthenes used this information together with measurements of the shadow length on the solstice at Alexandria to perform the first known calculation of the circumference of the Earth.

The Nile is nearly 650 m (0.40 mi) wide above Aswan. From this frontier town to the northern extremity of Egypt, the river flows for more than 1,200 km (750 mi) without bar or cataract. The voyage from Aswan to Alexandria usually took 21 to 28 days in favourable weather.

Archaeological findingsEdit

Archaeologists have discovered 35 mummified remains of Egyptians in a tomb in Aswan in 2019. Italian archaeologist Patrizia Piacentini, professor of Egyptology at the University of Milan, and Khaled El-Enany, the Egyptian minister of antiquities reported that the tomb where the remains of ancient men, women and children were found, dates back to the Greco-Roman period between 332 BC and 395 AD. While the findings assumed belonging to a mother and a child were well preserved, others were suffered major destruction. Beside the mummies, artefacts including painted funerary masks, vases of bitumen used in mummification, pottery and wooden figurines were revealed. Thanks to the hieroglyphics on the tomb, it was detected that the tomb belongs to a tradesman named Tjit. [18][19][20]

“It’s a very important discovery because we added something to the history of Aswan that was missing. We knew about tombs and necropoli dating back to the second and third millennium, but we didn’t know where the people who lived in the last part of the Pharaoh era were. Aswan, on the southern border of Egypt, was also a very important trading city” Piacentini said. [18][19][20]

ClimateEdit

Aswan has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) like the rest of Egypt. Aswan and Luxor have the hottest summer days of any city in Egypt. Aswan is one of the hottest, sunniest and driest cities in the world. Average high temperatures are consistently above 40 °C (104.0 °F) during summer (June, July, August and also September) while average low temperatures remain above 25 °C (77.0 °F). Summers are long, prolonged and extremely hot. Average high temperatures remain above 23 °C (73.4 °F) during the coldest month of the year while average low temperatures remain above 8 °C (46.4 °F). Winters are short, brief and extremely warm. Wintertime is very pleasant and enjoyable while summertime is unbearably hot with blazing sunshine although desert heat is dry.

The climate of Aswan is extremely dry year-round, with less than 1 mm (0 in) of average annual precipitation. The desert city is one of the driest ones in the world, and rainfall doesn't occur every year, as of early 2001, the last rain there was seven years earlier. Aswan is one of the least humid cities on the planet, with an average relative humidity of only 26%, with a maximum mean of 42% during winter and a minimum mean of 16% during summer.

The weather of Aswan is extremely clear, bright and sunny year-round, in all seasons, with a low seasonal variation, with almost 4,000 hours of annual sunshine, very close to the maximum theoretical sunshine duration. Aswan is one of the sunniest places on Earth.

The highest record temperature was 51 °C (124 °F) on July 4, 1918, and the lowest record temperature was −2.4 °C (27.7 °F) on January 6, 1989.[21]

Climate data for Aswan, Egypt
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.3
(95.5)
38.5
(101.3)
44.0
(111.2)
46.1
(115.0)
47.8
(118.0)
50.6
(123.1)
51.0
(123.8)
48.0
(118.4)
47.8
(118.0)
45.4
(113.7)
42.2
(108.0)
38.6
(101.5)
51.0
(123.8)
Average high °C (°F) 22.9
(73.2)
25.2
(77.4)
29.5
(85.1)
34.9
(94.8)
38.9
(102.0)
41.4
(106.5)
41.1
(106.0)
40.9
(105.6)
39.3
(102.7)
35.9
(96.6)
29.1
(84.4)
24.3
(75.7)
33.6
(92.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) 15.3
(59.5)
17.5
(63.5)
21.8
(71.2)
27.0
(80.6)
31.4
(88.5)
33.5
(92.3)
33.6
(92.5)
33.2
(91.8)
32.8
(91.0)
27.7
(81.9)
21.5
(70.7)
16.9
(62.4)
25.9
(78.6)
Average low °C (°F) 8.7
(47.7)
10.2
(50.4)
13.8
(56.8)
18.9
(66.0)
23.0
(73.4)
25.2
(77.4)
26.0
(78.8)
25.8
(78.4)
24.0
(75.2)
20.6
(69.1)
15.0
(59.0)
10.5
(50.9)
18.5
(65.3)
Record low °C (°F) −2.4
(27.7)
3.8
(38.8)
5.0
(41.0)
7.8
(46.0)
13.4
(56.1)
18.9
(66.0)
20.0
(68.0)
20.0
(68.0)
16.1
(61.0)
12.2
(54.0)
6.1
(43.0)
0.6
(33.1)
−2.4
(27.7)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.00)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.7
(0.03)
0
(0)
0.6
(0.02)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.4
(0.06)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 mm) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.25 0.0 0.0 0.85
Average relative humidity (%) 40 32 24 19 17 16 18 21 22 27 36 42 26.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 298.2 281.1 321.6 316.1 346.8 363.2 374.6 359.6 298.3 314.6 299.6 289.1 3,862.8
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization,[22]
Source #2: NOAA for mean temperatures, humidity, and sun,[23] Meteo Climat (extremes 1918–present)[21]

EducationEdit

In 1999, South Valley University was inaugurated and it has three branches; Aswan, Qena and Hurghada. The university grew steadily and now it is firmly established as a major institution of higher education in Upper Egypt. Aswan branch of Assiut University began in 1973 with the Faculty of Education and in 1975 the Faculty of Science was opened. Aswan branch has five faculties namely; Science, Education, Engineering, Arts, Social Works and Institute of Energy. The Faculty of Science in Aswan has six departments. Each department has one educational programme: Chemistry, Geology, Physics and Zoology. Except Botany Department, which has three educational programmes: Botany, Environmental Sciences and Microbiology; and Mathematics Department, which has two educational programmes: Mathematics and Computer Science. The Faculty of Science awards the following degrees: Bachelor of Science in nine educational programmes, Higher Diploma, Master of Science and Philosophy Doctor of Science. Aswan also has Aswan Higher Institute of Social Work that was established in 1975 making it the oldest private higher institute of Social Work in Upper Egypt

TransportEdit

Aswan is served by the Aswan International Airport. Train and bus service is also available. Taxi and rickshaw are used for transport here.

International relationsEdit

Twin towns/Sister citiesEdit

Aswan is twinned with:

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  •   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Aswan" . Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.
  1. ^ "Aswan". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  2. ^ "Aswan". Collins English Dictionary. HarperCollins. Archived from the original on April 3, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  3. ^ "Aswan" Archived 2019-04-03 at the Wayback Machine (US) and "Aswan". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  4. ^ "Aswân". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  5. ^ Smith, Melanie K. (2016). Issues in cultural tourism studies. Routledge. ISBN 9781138785694. OCLC 932058870.
  6. ^ a b Baines, John; Malek, Jaromir (March 1983). Atlas of Ancient Egypt (Cultural Atlas). New York, NY: Facts On File Inc. p. 240. ISBN 9780871963345.
  7. ^ Suʻād Māhir (1966). Muhafazat Al Gumhuriya Al Arabiya Al Mutaheda wa Asaraha al baqiah fi al asr al islamim. Majlis al-Aʻlá lil-Shuʼūn al-Islāmīyah.
  8. ^ James Henry Breasted (1912). A History of Egypt, from the Earliest Times to the Persian Conquest. Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 7. Archived from the original on 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2015-04-27.
  9. ^ Dijkstra, J. Harm F. Religious Encounters on the Southern Egyptian Frontier in Late Antiquity (AD 298-642) Archived 2009-07-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ (ii. 30)
  11. ^ (ii. p. 133, xvii. p. 797, seq.)
  12. ^ (s. v.)
  13. ^ (vii. 5. § 15, viii. 15. § 15)
  14. ^ (ii. 73. s. 75, v. 10. s. 11, vi. 29. s. 34)
  15. ^ (De architectura, book viii. ch ii. § 6)
  16. ^ (p. 164)
  17. ^ Ezekiel 29:10, 30:6; Isaiah 49:12
  18. ^ a b Giuffrida, Angela (2019-04-24). "Mummified remains of 35 ancient Egyptians found in Aswan". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 2019-07-25. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
  19. ^ a b CNN, Emily Dixon (2019-04-25). "At least 34 mummies found in hidden Egyptian tomb". CNN Travel. Archived from the original on 2019-07-25. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
  20. ^ a b "Egyptian necropolis with 35 mummies found - Culture". ANSAMed. 2019-04-23. Archived from the original on 2019-07-25. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
  21. ^ a b "Station Aswan" (in French). Meteo Climat. Archived from the original on July 13, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  22. ^ "Weather Information for Asswan". Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  23. ^ "Asswan Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 30, 2015.

External linksEdit