Aswan Museum


The modern annexe of the museum has reopened with a delightful collection of objects, from weapons, pottery and utensils to statues, encased mummies and sarcophagi from predynastic to late Roman times. Artefacts are organised in separate glass cases, each explaining a particular facet of life on the island in ancient times.

The main part of the Aswan Museum, housed in the villa of Sir William Willcocks (architect of the old Aswan Dam), was closed for restoration at the time of writing. Built in 1898, the villa became a museum in 1912 and houses antiquities discovered in Aswan and Nubia. Although most of the Nubian artefacts rescued from the temples flooded by Lake Nasser were moved to the Nubia Museum, there are some well-displayed objects here, with excellent labels in English and Arabic. At the right of the main entrance, in a room by itself, lies the sarcophagus and mummy of a sacred ram, the animal associated with Khnum.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Aswan attractions

1. Nilometer of Satet

0.02 MILES

Descending to the river’s edge from beneath a sycamore tree near the Aswan Museum is the Nilometer of the Satet Temple (plaque number 10). Built in late…

2. Nilometer of Khnum

0.04 MILES

The Nilometer of the Temple of Khnum (plaque number 7) is below the southern balustrade of the temple. Built in the 26th dynasty, the Nilometer's stone…

3. Ruins of Abu

0.11 MILES

The evocative ruins of ancient Abu and the Aswan Museum (partially closed for renovation) lie at Elephantine Island's southern tip. Numbered plaques and…

4. Elephantine Island

0.32 MILES

Elephantine Island's southern end comprises the site of ancient Abu. Its name meant both 'elephant' and 'ivory' in ancient Egyptian, a reminder of the…

5. Nubia Museum

0.34 MILES

The little-visited Nubia Museum, opposite Basma Hotel, is a treat, a showcase of the history, art and culture of Nubia. Established in 1997 in cooperation…

6. Corniche

0.42 MILES

Walking along the Corniche and watching the sunset over the islands and desert across the Nile is a favourite pastime in Aswan. The view from riverside…

7. Fatimid Cemetery

0.53 MILES

Among the modern graves are some ruined mud-brick domed tombs, some of which go back to the Fatimid period (9th century). The domes are built on a drum…

8. Animalia

0.54 MILES

This is a small but charming museum run by Mohamed Sobhi, a Nubian guide, and his family, who have dedicated part of their large house to the traditions,…