Aswan / Nubia -- The Past
Once the ancient kingdom of Kush, Nubia is the stretch of land next to the Nile from Aswan down to Khartoum in the south. Nubians are depicted in many tomb paintings and reliefs, usually as mercenaries or traders. Nubians still have distinct traditions, architecture and languages, even though many migrated either to Aswan and Kom Ombo or south to Sudan after Lake Nasser swamped much of their traditional homeland. Nubia contains dozens of sites of archaeological interest, including 24 temples, as well as fortresses and tombs. Many of these, including Dendour, Ellessiya, Amada and Wadi al-Sebowa were menaced by the waters of the High Dam. Some have been moved, most notably Philae, Kalabasha and Abu Simbel. Other salvage operations are ongoing. The Nubian Museum is being built near Aswan to house rescued artifacts. Today, you can take a luxury cruise round Lake Nasser and discover the New Nubia, viewing temples that, because of their former inaccessibility, have rarely been seen since the beginning of the nineteenth century.