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that on the island of Aswân, i.e., Elephantine, there was a church in which was laid the body of Abû Hadrî, and near this church was a monastery, which was in ruins in the days of Abû Şaliḥ, with 300 cells for monks. There were also the churches of Saint Mennas, the Virgin Mary, and the archangels Gabriel and Michael. The church of Saint Ibsâdah stood in the citadel of Aswân, on the bank of the Nile, and the saint was said to have had the power of walking upon the water. The monastery of Abû Hadri was the mountain on the west," and it is probable that the monastery now called by the name of St. Simon is here referred to.

The gold mines, which are often referred to by writers on Aswân, were situated in the western desert and in the Wadi al-'Alâķi, to the south-east of Aswân, in the country of the Bishârîn ; these appear to be the mines that were worked by the Egyptians under the XVIIIth and XIXth dynasties. The clay quarries were situated on the east bank of the Nile, just opposite to Elephantine Island, and were famous for red and yellow ochres, and for a fine clay, called the “clay of art,” which was much used in making jars to hold Aswan wine. These quarries were worked in ancient days, and the stratum of clay was followed by the miners to very considerable distances into the mountains ; the entrance to the workings is buried under the sand.

Aswan was as famous for its granite quarries as Silsila was for its beds of sandstone. The Egyptian kings were in the habit of sending to Aswân for granite to make sarcophagi, temples, obelisks, etc., and it will be remembered that Unå was sent there to bring back in barges granite for the use of Pepi I., a king of the VIth dynasty. It is probable that the granite slabs which cover the pyramid of Mycerinus (IVth dynasty) were brought from Aswân. The undetached Obelisk, which still lies in one of the quarries, is an interesting object.

Near the quarries are two ancient Arabic cemeteries, in which are a number of sandstone grave-stones, many of them formed from stones taken from Ptolemaic buildings, inscribed in Cufi* characters with the names of the Muhammadans buried there, and the year, month, and day on which they died. We learn from them that natives of Edû and other parts of Egypt were sometimes brought here and buried.

The oldest quarries of all were, no doubt, the granite islands which stood in the Cataract.

The following translations will illustrate the contents of these interesting monuments :

I. “In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the “Merciful. This is a sufficient announcement for men ; " and (it is revealed) that they may be warned thereby, and " that they may know that He is one God, and that the "discreet may remember. O God, bless Muḥammad the

Prophet and his family and save (them), and have mercy upon Thy servant that hath need of Thy mercy, Ja'far, son of Ahmad, son of 'Alî, son of Muḥammad, son of

Kasim, son of 'Abd as-Samad. He died on Thursday, " when six days (nights) were past (the 6th) of al-Muharram, "in the year 418 (A.D. 1027). May the mercy of God be upon him and His favour.”

II.“ In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the "Merciful. Verily those who say, 'Our Lord is God' and " then walk uprightly, upon them shall the angels descend

(saying), 'Fear ye not, neither be ye sad, but rejoice ye in "the Paradise which ye have been promised.' O God, bless

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A kind of Arabic writing in which very old copies of the Ķor'ân, etc., are written ; it takes its name from Kûfah, ij Al-Kafah, a town on the Euphrates. Kûfah was one of the chief cities of 'Irâķ, and is famous in the Muḥammadan world because Muḥammad and his immediate successors dwelt there. Enoch lived here, the ark was built here, the boiling waters of the Flood first burst out here, and Abraham had a place of prayer set apart here.

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“Muhammad the Prophet and his family the pure and save “ (them). There died Ibrahîm, son of Al-Husain, son of “ Isḥâş, son of Ya‘ķûb, son of Isḥâķ, on Saturday, when "eight (nights) remained (the 21st) of the latter Rabi', in “the year 420 (A.D. 1029).”

III.“ In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the “ Merciful. Hasten unto forgiveness from your Lord and

a Paradise the width whereof is (as) the heavens and the “ earth, which is prepared for the God-fearing. Biessed be “ He Who, if He pleased, could give thee better than that, (to

wit) gardens beneath which flow streams, and could give " thee palaces. O God, bless Muḥammad the Prophet and “ his family and save (them), and have mercy on Thy

servant that hath need of Thy mercy, Ismâ‘il, son of

Al-Husain, son of Ishâk, son of Ya'ķûb, son of Ishak. He “ died on Monday, when twenty and three (nights) were

passed (on the 23rd) of Rajab, in the year 431 (A.D. 1040). “ The mercy of God be upon him, and His forgiveness, and “ His favour be upon

him." The first Cataract, called Shellâl by the Arabs, begins a little to the south of Aswân, and ends a little to the north of the island of Philæ ; six great cataracts are found on the Nile between Khartûm and Aswân, but this is the most generally known. Here the Nile becomes narrow and flows between two mountains, which descend nearly perpendicularly to the river, the course of which is obstructed by huge boulders and small rocky islands and barriers, which stand on different levels, and cause the falls of water which have given this part of the river its name. On the west side the obstacles are not so numerous as on the east, and sailing and rowing boats can ascend the cataract on this side when the river is high. The noise made by the water is at times very great, but it has been greatly exaggerated by both ancient and modern travellers, some of whom ventured to assert that the "water fell from several places in the mountain more than two hundred feet.” Some ancient writers asserted that the fountains of the Nile were in this cataract, and Herodotus* reports that an official of the treasury of Neith at Sais stated that the source of the Nile was here. Many of the rocks here are inscribed with the names of kings who reigned during the Middle Empire; in many places on the little islands in the cataract quarries were worked. The island of Sâħal should be visited on account of the numerous inscriptions left there by princes, generals, and others who passed by on their way to Nubia. On February 6th, 1889, Mr. Wilbour was fortunate enough to discover on the south-eastern part of this island a most important stele consisting of a rounded block of granite, eight or nine feet high, which stands clear above the water, and in full view from the river looking towards Philæ. Upon it are inscribed thirty-two lines of hieroglyphics which form a remarkable document, and contain some valuable information bearing upon a famous seven years' famine. The inscription is dated in the eighteenth year of a king whose name is read by Dr. Brugsch as Tcheser

who reigned early in the IIIrd dynasty ; but internal evidence proves beyond a doubt that the narrative contained therein is a redaction of an old story, and that it is, in its present form, not older than the time of the Ptolemies. In the second line we are told :

G Gre), or sro )


em tu

āa ur

kheft tem iu By misfortune the very greatest not had come forth

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khet neb qeq [there was a] dearth of everything [which men] ate.

In this time of distress the king despatched a messenger to Matar, the governor of Elephantine, informing him of the terrible state of want and misery which the country was in, and asking him to give him information about the source of the Nile, and about the god or goddess who presided over it, and promising to worship this deity henceforth if he would make the harvests full as of yore. Matar informed the messenger concerning these things, and when the king had heard his words be at once ordered rich sacrifices to be made to Khnemu, the god of Elephantine, and decreed that tithes of every product of the land should be paid to his temple. This done the famine came to an end and the Nile rose again to its accustomed height. There can be no connection between this seven years' famine and that recorded in the Bible, for it must have happened some two thousand years before Joseph could have been in Egypt; but this remarkable inscription proves that from time immemorial the people of Egypt have suffered from periodic famines. The village of Mahâtah, on the east bank of the river, is prettily situated, and worth a visit.

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