Day 11 Half a century of research on Elephantine

Fifty years ago on 9 January, excavations began on the Nile island of Elephantine in southern Egypt. For more than four millennia Elephantine was the most important frontier and trading post between Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa. The island settlement also acquired, in early times, an important status in the deity cult as the mythical source of the waters of the Nile.

Excavations in the settlement area of Elephantine (Photo: P. Kopp, DAI Cairo)

In collaboration with the Swiss Institute for Research in Egyptian Architecture and Archaeology, the DAI has been able to study and reconstruct the island’s long settlement history, establish site museums, and rebuild the changing temples of the goddess Satet and the god Khnum. The ongoing project Lebenswirklichkeiten examines the realities of everyday of life on the island, and strikes out on a new path in excavation technique and research.

Learn more about the project: