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when I was in Aswan in the nineties, it was a rather small town with just two streets in the centre. Now it is a big city. From Aswan, we went to see the Dam, Philae Temples and the Botanical Garden on the Kitchener island, so there was no time for the city itself. In my free time, I went with my friend for a two hours lazy ride by felucca.

In antiquity, Aswan was called Syene. There was a well there, that once in a year, at noon each summer solstice, the Sun rays went straight down to the bottom of it. It means that Sun was straight ahead. Eratosthenes, a Greek polymath, was a chief librarian in Alexandria. According to the legend, he hired the bematist, the professional man trained to heave equal steps, to measure the distance from Alexandria to Aswan. He got 5000 stadia (the ancient unit of length). On the same day of the solstice, he measured the angle cast by the shadow of the vertical rod in Alexandria. It was a bit more than 7 degrees. Having these data, he could find the circumference of the Earth - 40 000 km.

And think that there are still the people who argue that the Earth is flat!

Here is the view of the Qubbet el Hawa - the necropolis dating from 2500 BC to Roman times. I would love to climb the hill but there was not enough time.

Two more photos in Workshops.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13598 W: 141 N: 35261] (158900)
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