Aswan is a city in the south of Egypt and is the capital of the Aswan Governorate.
Aswan is a busy market and tourist center located just north of the Aswan Dam on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract. The modern city has expanded and includes the formerly separate community on the island of Elephantine.
The city is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the category of craft and folk art.
Aswan is a large tourist city where a current population is 1,568,000.
Aswan has a hot desert climate like the rest of Egypt. Aswan and Luxor have the hottest summer days of any city in Egypt. Aswan is one of the hottest, sunniest and driest cities in the world. Average high temperatures are consistently above 40 °C (104.0 °F) during summer (June, July, August and also September) while average low temperatures remain above 25 °C (77.0 °F). Average high temperatures remain above 23 °C (73.4 °F) during the coldest month of the year while average low temperatures remain above 8 °C (46.4 °F). Summers are very prolonged and extremely hot with blazing sunshine although desert heat is dry. Winters are brief and pleasantly mild, though nights may be cool at times.
The climate of Aswan is extremely dry year-round, with less than 1 mm (0 in) of average annual precipitation. The desert city is one of the driest ones in the world, and rainfall doesn’t occur every year, as of early 2001, the last rain there was seven years earlier. Aswan is one of the least humid cities on the planet, with an average relative humidity of only 26%, with a maximum mean of 42% during winter and a minimum mean of 16% during summer.
The weather of Aswan is extremely clear, bright, and sunny year-round, in all seasons, with a low seasonal variation, with almost 4,000 hours of annual sunshine, very close to the maximum theoretical sunshine duration. Aswan is one of the sunniest places on Earth.
The highest record temperature was 51 °C (124 °F) on July 4, 1918, and the lowest record temperature was −2.4 °C (27.7 °F) on January 6, 1989.
Aswan is the ancient city of Swenett, later known as Syene, which in antiquity was the frontier town of Ancient Egypt facing the south. Swenett is supposed to have derived its name from an Egyptian goddess with the same name. This goddess later was identified as Eileithyia by the Greeks and Lucina by the Romans during their occupation of Ancient Egypt because of the similar association of their goddesses with childbirth, and of which the import is “the opener”. The ancient name of the city also is said to be derived from the Egyptian symbol for “trade” or “market”
Because the Ancient Egyptians oriented themselves toward the origin of the life-giving waters of the Nile in the south, and as Swenett was the southernmost town in the country, Egypt always was conceived to “open” or begin at Swenett. The city stood upon a peninsula on the right (east) bank of the Nile, immediately below (and north of) the first cataract of the flowing waters, which extend to it from Philae. Navigation to the delta was possible from this location without encountering a barrier.
The stone quarries of ancient Egypt located here were celebrated for their stone, and especially for the granitic rock called Syenite. They furnished the colossal statues, obelisks, and monolithic shrines that are found throughout Egypt, including the pyramids; and the traces of the quarrymen who worked in these 3,000 years ago are still visible in the native rock. They lie on either bank of the Nile, and a road, 6.5 km (4.0 mi) in length, was cut beside them from Syene to Philae.
Swenett was equally important as a military station as a place of traffic. Under every dynasty, it was a garrison town, and here tolls and customs were levied on all boats passing southwards and northwards. Around 330, the legion stationed here received a bishop from Alexandria; this later became the Coptic Diocese of SyeneThe city is mentioned by numerous ancient writers, including Herodotus, Strabo, Stephanus of Byzantium, Ptolemy, Pliny the Elder Vitruvius, and it appears on the Antonine Itinerary. It may also be mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel and the Book of Isaiah
there are special organized tours to the area