Make your own free website on


Elephantine NilometerThe Nilometer on Elephantine Island near the First Cataract deep in southern Egypt always held supreme importance. It was the first outpost where the floods exerted themselves and the first to know when they were over, but the religious significance might have overshadowed its strategic location. It was home of the Khum, the ram-headed god of inundation. During the Eleventh Dynasty a sanctuary was built on the island specifically to celebrate inundations. A new Nilometer replaced a much older one at the edge of Khum's Temple during the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty; And somewhat later, in Dynasty Thirty, a riverside terrace Nilometer was added to the nearby Temple of Satet, one of Khum's celestial consorts. When Egypt fell to Rome, that did not mean an end to Nilometers on Elephantine Island, for Khum's Nilometer received a new calibrated staircase and a granite roof from the Romans.