It is situated 2 km from Aswan train station on the eastern bank of the Nile
Why was it built?
It was the place where the ancient Egyptians dwelt when they first settled in the district. As an island, it was a most favorable spot for a small tribe wishing to defend itself against wild beasts or troublesome enemies.
The island named Elephantine as it was a major ivory trading center or because Egyptians first saw the Elephant in this district. The island is considered a natural boundary between Egypt and Nubia. Its ancient name was Abu, or Yabu, which means elephant. There are many attractive places in this Island such as; The Nilometer, Elephantine museum and the temple of khunum.
The Nilometer was erected in the Roman period, perhaps on the remains of another one. It was connected to the temple by a roofed corridor leading to a flight of steps, which reached the river Nile through a rectangular opening. It was used in the middle ages and was not repaired till the reign of Ismail Pasha.
God Khunum, the Creator God in the Ancient Egyptian religion, was considered the chief God of the island together with the two members of his triad Satis & Anukis.