Aswan


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Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan
September 5th 1968
Published: September 6th 2019
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Unfinished ObelisksUnfinished ObelisksUnfinished Obelisks

Unfinished work at the ancient granite quarries in Aswan. This was the location where the temple and tomb building material had been quarried in ancient times. Egypt001p
Arriving at Aswan the previous evening, the Misirair turboprop banked over the city giving us a full view. The airport was some distance out beyond the city in the desert, the dark tarmac runway standing out again in a sharp contrast to the bright surrounding terrain. Overnight was at the Kalabsha Hotel downtown.

We began our visit to Aswan with an early Thursday morning tour of the High Dam construction site. The Aswan High Dam was then in the final stages of construction, with two years remaining until completion. They would not let us take pictures, so, sorry, no photos of the construction site to post. A civil engineer with us was most upset that there were to be no photos. Construction vehicles and workers were very much in evidence and very busy. I noted the prominent signs for Osman Ahmed Osman Co. They were "The Arab Contractors" for the dam project, as the billboards announced. Indeed, they seemed to be doing the majority of the construction work. (The company's signs had been up at Cairo airport, too, for renovation work going on there.) Our guide told us the Russian advisors could be identified by their white short-sleeved shirts.
Ancient Granite Quarries at AswanAncient Granite Quarries at AswanAncient Granite Quarries at Aswan

Ancient granite quarries at Aswan. This was the location where the temple and tomb building material had been quarried in ancient times. Egypt002p

Next to visit were the Aswan granite quarries. This was the location where the temple and tomb building material had been quarried in ancient times. There were unfinished obelisks and blocks left behind, as if Pharaoh's workers had just then decided to call it a day.

By early afternoon, it was time to return to the airport for the flight to Luxor. Both flights along the Nile River to and from Aswan provided a view of the green swath of agricultural land along the blue colored Nile, clearly contrasting with the desert beyond. I considered how this pattern had been followed since ancient times, the Nile Valley furnishing stability and the basis for Egyptian civilization.


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Aswan from the Granite Quarries.Aswan from the Granite Quarries.
Aswan from the Granite Quarries.

View of Aswan from the obelisk quarries. Egypt003p
Valley of the River NileValley of the River Nile
Valley of the River Nile

Nile valley below Luxor. Visible is the barrage (dam) at Najʿ Hammādī (Nagaa Hammadi). Egypt025p


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