It comes from the Greek word meaning "downrush" or the Latin "cataract" meaning a waterfall, a floodgate or a portcullis. The cataract at Aswan, with its waterfalls, rocks and torrents, made it impossible for boats to navigate. All river traffic stopped at this point and the treasures and goods from Nubia including gold and its valuable trade routes to the Sudanhad to be carried by caravan across the barren Nubian Desert.
Places to Visit and tour in Aswan - The Aswan High Dam, Temple of Isis & the Rock Temples of Ramses II and Queen Nefertari
The most famous places to visit in Aswan are as follows:
- The Aswan Dam High Dam
- Temple of Isis
- Rock temples of Ramses II and his wife, Queen Nefertari
The Aswan Dams
There are two dams across the River Nile at Aswan . The older Aswan Dam or Aswan Low Dam and the newer Aswan High Dam. The objective of the dams was to prevent the flooding of the River Nile, generate electricity and provide water for agriculture. The British began construction of the first dam in 1899 and it was completed in 1902. Due to potential flooding the height of the dam was raised in two phases, 1907–1912 and 1929–1933. In 1946 the danger of flooding caused the decision to be made to build a second dam, 4 miles up river. The project was eventually started in 1960 and was funded by Russia. The Aswan High Dam was completed in 1970.
Aswan Dam - Moving the Temple of Isis from Philae and the Rock Temple of Abu Simbel
The Aswan High Dam project threatened the Temples at Philae and Abu Simbel and the tomb of Nefertari which would have been submerged under water. The United Nations organisation (UNESCO) undertook the massive task of relocating these great Ancient Egyptian Monuments and financing the project. The Temple of Isis and other important buildings on the island of Philae were transported over a system of steel rails to the island of Agilkia. The fabulous rock temples of Abu Simbel dedicated to the Pharaoh Ramses II and his wife Queen Nefertari were brought 180 metres inland to an artificially built rock which was 64 metres higher than the original. The massive rock temple was cut into pieces weighing 30 tons and reassembled in its new location.For more facts and information about Abu Simbel please click the following link:
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