An island at the level of , and the most southerly town in Egypt. In the , it was the capital of the , but from , it was reduced to a temple town and the administration was transferred to , today Aswan, on the eastern riverbank. The two main temples cover almost the whole of the former town area of Elephantine, and are dedicated to the god (a place of worship on the same site can be traced back to the ; Kaiser, 1977, pp. 63ff.) and (Ricke, 1960).

After profanation of the temples in the , the forecourt of the temple of Khnum was converted into the barracks of an infantry cohort in the second quarter of the (Grossmann, 1979). For reasons of , however, this cohort cannot be identified with the mentioned in the 31.64. A church inserted into the of the same temple in the late sixth century was formed as a centrally oriented building with an ambulatory and four corner pillars.

Of a second church that once stood in the northwest part of the town and probably had the form of a , only a few fallen column shafts, and their bases have survived. The appears to have been provided with an inner ring of columns. The building itself was destroyed by the (manure diggers).


  • Grossmann, P. Elephantine II, Kirche und spätantike Hausanlagen im Chnumtempelhof. Archäologische Veröffentlichungen 25. Mainz, 1980.
  • Kaiser, W., et al. “Stadt und Tempel von Elephantine.” Mitteilungen des deutschen archäologischen Instituts—Abteilung Kairo 26 (1970):87ff.; 27 (1971):181ff.; 28 (1972):157ff.; 30 (1974):65ff.; 31 (1975):39ff.; 32 (1976):67ff; (1977):63ff.
  • Ricke, H. Die Tempel Nektanebos’ II in Elephantine. Beiträge zur ägyptischen Bauforschung und Altertumskunde 6. Cairo, 1960.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *