Aswan is a busy market and tourist center located just north of the Aswan Dams on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract. The modern city has expanded and includes the formerly separate community on the island of Elephantine.
The city is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the category of craft and folk art.
Aswan is the ancient city of Sweet, later known as Scene, which in antiquity was the frontier town of Ancient Egypt facing the south. Sweet is supposed to have derived its name from an Egyptian goddess with the same name. This goddess later was identified as Eileithyia by the Greeks and Lucina by the Romans during their occupation of Ancient Egypt because of the similar association of their goddesses with childbirth, and of which the import is “the opener”. The ancient name of the city also is said to be derived from the Egyptian symbol for “trade” or “market”
Because the Ancient Egyptians oriented themselves toward the origin of the life-giving waters of the Nile in the south, and as Sweet was the southernmost town in the country, Egypt always was conceived to “open” or begin at Aswan.] The city stood upon a peninsula on the right (east) bank of the Nile, immediately below (and north of) the first cataract of the flowing waters, which extend to it from Philae. Navigation to the delta was possible from this location without encountering a barrier.
The stone quarries of ancient Egypt located here were celebrated for their stone, and especially for the granitic rock called Seniti. They furnished the colossal statues, obelisks, and monolithic shrines that are found throughout Egypt, including the pyramids; and the traces of the quarrymen who worked in these 3,000 years ago are still visible in the native rock. They lie on either bank of the Nile, and a road, 6.5 km (4.0 mi) in length, was cut beside them from Aswan to Philae.
Aswan was equally important as a military station as a place of traffic. Under every dynasty it was a garrison town; and here tolls and customs were levied on all boats passing southwards and northwards. Around 330, the legion stationed here received a bishop from Alexandria; this later became the Coptic Diocese of Syene The city is mentioned by numerous ancient writers, including Herodotus, Strabo, Stephanus of Byzantium Ptolemy, Pliny the Elder, Vitruvius, and it appears on the Antonine Itinerary. It is also mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel and the Book of Isaiah. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aswan