Splitting the Nile into two channels, Elephantine Island overlooks the western desert on one side, and the bustling city of Aswan on the other. The Island was an important trading post and an entry point into Egypt by its southern neighbours.
From as early as the fourth millennium BC, Elephantine was inhabited by the Egyptians, Nubians, Jews, Greeks and Romans.
Two Nubian villages make up Elephantine. To the north of the island is the village of Siou, or sand in Nubian. The village is named after sand, as the island slopes downwards to the north where it levels with the sandy shores of the Nile. The elevated antiquities mound located at the southern tip of the island earned the southern village name of Koti, the Nubian word meaning a high place.
Some 3,000 people live between these villages.
Our small but charming museum has a collection of stuffed animals found in Nubia, samples of sedimentary rocks, great pictures of Nubia before it was flooded by Lake Nasser, a small shop selling Nubian crafts at fixed prices and a lovely roof terrace where drinks are served overlooking the gardens.
Please contact us to find out more!