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Ancient Aswan -- Svene -- Swen

Philae Temple in the South of Aswan

The Ancient Egyptians called it Swen and considered it to be not only the end of the world but also the sacred source of the Nile and granite from which they built most of their temples. For centuries Aswan was the gateway to Africa and the lands of Nubia. In the time of the Ptolemies and ancient Egyptians the town of Svene stood south-west of the present day city. Svene was situated on the island of Yeb or what is today called Elephantine Island. It was a major trade center with Nubia and the rest of Africa. Caravans -- camel trade -- gold -- ivory markets were traded there up until Islamic times. The word Yeb is Nubian for elephant therefore the Greeks called the island Elephantine Island. Yeb was where most of the ivory and gold trading would take place. Due to its strategic location Aswan was chosen as the first capital of Upper Egypt and the Ptolemies used it as a base to enter Nubia -- Sudan -- Central Africa. It was they who built the beautiful Temple of Philae ...

The Blatchford Collection
Aswad Island: Phylae -- Vue prise des Cataractes (Felix Bonfils)

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium