Sisters at the Nubian village of Siou on Elephantine Island in the Nile at Aswan, Egypt
Known to the Ancient Egyptians as Abu or Yebu, the island of Elephantine stood at the border between Egypt and Nubia. It was an excellent defensive site for a city and its location made it a natural cargo transfer point for river trade.
The island may have received its name after its shape, which in aerial views is similar to that of an elephant tusk. This is the meaning of the Greek word elephas. Other theories consider that the island is named because it was a trading center in the ivory trade.