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Ancient Egypt /
Religion
1. Introduction
2. Gods
3. Concepts
4. Cult
5. Cult centres
6. Necropolises
7. Structures

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Open map of Ancient EgyptAncient Egypt / Religion /
Elephantine
Ancient Egyptian: Yabu or Abu



Elephantine

Elephantine: Temple of Khnum. Aswan, Egypt.
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Elephantine: Temple of Khnum. Aswan, Egypt.

Elephantine: Temple of Satet. Aswan, Egypt.
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Elephantine: Temple of Satet. Aswan, Egypt.

Elephantine: Temple of Satet. Aswan, Egypt.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Elephantine: Temple of Satet. Aswan, Egypt.

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Elephantine
Temple of Khnum
Runis of Yebu
Nilometers

Island with fortress and town of Ancient Egypt. Elephantine was an important cult centre of the Ancient Egyptian Religion having the river Nile as the theological basis.
Elephantine belongs to the modern city of Aswan, the southernmost city of modern Egypt.

Military and trade
The town of Elephantine was in ancient days known as Yebu. It was the last settlement before the 1st Cataract, serving as both a military settlement and a trade post. In the desert hinterlands, amethysts, quartzite, copper, tin and malachite was mined. Fine red granite was quarried here and exported north and used with many grand structures.

Religion
The cults of Elephantine were linked to the strategic importance of the region, representing the traditional southern border of Egypt. At this place, known as the 1st cataract, the Nile passes through its narrowest point along its entire route, 350 metre wide, causing dramatic cascades at times of the year. Around the cultic centres, an extensive town covered most the island.
The main gods of Elephantine were Khnum, Satet and their daughter, Anuket. Another god revered at Elephantine was Hapy, the god of the Nile flood.
In today's remaining structures, the Temple of Khnum is dominating, resting on the highest point at the island's north end. Only its bases remain, though a part of the gate still stand (see photo).
There are a few temples of Satet built within the same area. At the location of the largest of these temples, 7 temples have been identified, each built on top of the older. The first dates back to ca. 2800 BCE, the last to 150 BCE. The oldest of these is also among the oldest temples to be found in Egypt. It is centered around a natural niche in rock, and had several small rooms built around this point.





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By Tore Kjeilen