Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
- Author(s): Kockelmann, Holger
- et al.
The island of Philae, located amid the First Cataract some 7 kilometers south of modern Aswan, housed an ancient settlement and one of the most extensive and best preserved temple complexes of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt. Together with the abaton on the neighboring island of Biga, Philae was the most important cultic center of Isis and Osiris in Upper Egypt and Nubia. According to the ground plan published by Lyons in 1896, the island measured c. 385 meters in length (orientated south-north) and c. 176 meters in width. Today it is submerged in the lake between the first Aswan Dam and the modern Aswan High Dam. For their preservation, the monuments of Philae were transferred to the nearby island of Agilkia.