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Clockwise from top:
Majzoub Barrage, Asyut Religious Institute, Alkasan Pasha Palace, Deir Muqalla overview, Assiut University, Deir Muqalla southern settlement
Egypt relief location map.jpg
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Location of Asyut within Egypt
Coordinates: 27°11′N31°10′E / 27.183°N 31.167°E / 27.183; 31.167
CountryFlag of Egypt.svg  Egypt
Governorate Asyut
70 m (230 ft)
  Total389,307 [1]
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
Area code(s) (+20) 88

Asyut [spelling 1] (Arabic : أسيوطAsyūṭ pronounced  [ʔɑsˈjuːtˤ] , Coptic : ⲥⲓⲟⲟⲩⲧSiowt) is the capital of the modern Asyut Governorate in Egypt, which has one of the largest Coptic Catholic bishopric churches in the country; the ancient city of the same name, which is situated nearby. The modern city is located at 27°11′00″N31°10′00″E / 27.18333°N 31.16667°E / 27.18333; 31.16667 , while the ancient city is located at 27°10′00″N31°08′00″E / 27.16667°N 31.13333°E / 27.16667; 31.13333 .

Coptic language Latest stage of the Egyptian language

Coptic or Coptic Egyptian, is the latest stage of the Egyptian language, a northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century as an official language. In the 2nd century BCE, Egyptian began to be written in the Coptic alphabet, an adaptation of the Greek alphabet with the addition of six or seven signs from Demotic to represent Egyptian sounds the Greek language did not have.

Asyut Governorate Governorate in Egypt

Asyut Governorate is one of the governorates of Egypt. It stretches across a section of the Nile River. The capital of the governorate is the city of Asyut.

Egypt Country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country in the northeast corner of Africa, whose territory in the Sinai Peninsula extends beyond the continental boundary with Asia, as traditionally defined. Egypt is bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.



Names and etymology

The name of the city is derived from early Egyptian Zawty (Z3JW.TJ) (late Egyptian, Səyáwt) adopted into the Coptic as Syowtⲥⲓⲟⲟⲩⲧ, which means "Guardian" of the northern approach of Upper Egypt. [2] In Graeco-Roman Egypt, it was called Lycopolis or Lykopolis (Greek : Λυκόπολις, "ἡ Λύκων πόλις"), [3] ('wolf city') Lycon, [4] or Lyco. [5] [6]

Egyptian language Language spoken in ancient Egypt, branch of the Afro-Asiatic languages

The Egyptian language was spoken in ancient Egypt and was a branch of the Afro-Asiatic languages. Its attestation stretches over an extraordinarily long time, from the Old Egyptian stage. Its earliest known complete written sentence has been dated to about 2690 BC, which makes it one of the oldest recorded languages known, along with Sumerian.

Upper Egypt strip of land on the Nile valley between Nubia and Lower Egypt

Upper Egypt is the strip of land on both sides of the Nile that extends between Nubia and downriver (northwards) to Lower Egypt.

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Ancient Asyut

Statue of the chief royal scribe Yuny of Asyut and his wife Renenutet, 1290-1270 BCE early Dynasty 19. Yuny and Renenutet.jpg
Statue of the chief royal scribe Yuny of Asyut and his wife Renenutet, 1290–1270 BCE early Dynasty 19.

Ancient Asyut was the capital of the Thirteenth Nome of Upper Egypt (Lycopolites Nome) around 3100 BC. It was located on the western bank of the Nile. The two most prominent gods of Ancient Egyptian Asyut were Anubis and Wepwawet, both funerary deities.

A nome was a territorial division in ancient Egypt.

Nile River in Africa and the longest river in the world

The Nile is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa, and is the longest river in Africa and the disputed longest river in the world, as the Brazilian government says that the Amazon River is longer than the Nile. The Nile, which is about 6,650 km (4,130 mi) long, is an "international" river as its drainage basin covers eleven countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Republic of the Sudan, and Egypt. In particular, the Nile is the primary water source of Egypt and Sudan.

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

During the First Intermediate Period, the rulers of "Zawty" (Khety I, Tefibi, and Khety II) were supporters of the Herakleopolitan kings, of whose domain the Nome formed the southern limits. The conflict between this Nome and the southern Nomes under the rule of the Eleventh dynasty ended with the victory of Thebes and the decline of Asyut's importance.

First Intermediate Period of Egypt period in ancient Egyptian history after end of the Old Kingdom

The First Intermediate Period, often described as a "dark age" in ancient Egyptian history, spanned approximately one hundred and twenty-five years, from c. 2181–2055 BC, after the end of the Old Kingdom. It comprises the Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and part of the Eleventh Dynasties. Very little monumental evidence survives from this period, especially from the beginning of the era. The First Intermediate Period was a dynamic time where rule of Egypt was roughly equally divided between two competing power bases. One of those bases was at Heracleopolis in Lower Egypt, a city just south of the Faiyum region. The other was at Thebes in Upper Egypt. It is believed that during this time temples were pillaged and violated, artwork was vandalized, and the statues of kings were broken or destroyed as a result of the postulated political chaos. These two kingdoms would eventually come into conflict, leading to the conquest of the north by the Theban kings and the reunification of Egypt under a single ruler, Mentuhotep II, during the second part of the Eleventh Dynasty. This event marked the beginning of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt.

Khety I was an ancient Egyptian nomarch of the 13th nomos of Upper Egypt during the 10th dynasty. Like many other local governors, he also was a priest of the native deity Wepwawet.

Tefibi Egyptian nomarch

Tefibi was an ancient Egyptian nomarch of the 13th nomos of Upper Egypt during the 10th Dynasty. In addition, he also was hereditary prince, count, wearer of the royal seal, sole companion and high priest of Wepwawet. The main source about his life came from his biography, inscribed on the "tomb III" in Asyut.

Skull of Khety from Asyut, 1950 BCE. Skull of Khety.jpg
Skull of Khety from Asyut, 1950 BCE.

Lycopolis has no remarkable ruins, but in the excavated chambers of the adjacent rocks mummies of wolves have been found, confirming the origin of its name, as well as a tradition preserved by Diodorus Siculus, [7] to the effect that an Ethiopian army, invading Egypt, was repelled beyond the city of Elephantine by packs of wolves. Osiris was worshipped under the symbol of a wolf at Lycopolis. According to a myth, he had come "from the shades" as a wolf to aid Isis and Horus in their combat with Typhon. [8] Other Ancient Egyptian monuments discovered in Asyut include; the Asyut necropolis (west of the modern city), tombs which date to dynasties Nine, Ten and Twelve, and the Ramessid tombs of Siese and Amenhotep.

African golden wolf One of the only two wolf species in Africa, along with the Ethiopian wolf

The African golden wolf, also known as the Egyptian jackal or grey jackal, is a canid native to north and northeastern Africa. The species is the descendant of a genetically admixed canid of 72% grey wolf and 28% Ethiopian wolf ancestry. The species is common in northwest and northeast Africa, occurring from Senegal to Egypt in the east, in a range including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya in the north to Nigeria, Chad and Tanzania in the south. It is a desert-adapted canid, and is common in plains and steppe areas, including ones lacking abundant water. In the Atlas Mountains, the species has been sighted in elevations as high as 1,800 metres. It is primarily a predator, targeting invertebrates and mammals as large as gazelle fawns, though larger animals are sometimes taken. Other foodstuffs include animal carcasses, human refuse, and fruit. The African golden wolf is a monogamous and territorial animal, whose social structure includes yearling offspring remaining with the family to assist in raising their parents' younger pups.

Diodorus Siculus Greek historiographer

Diodorus Siculus or Diodorus of Sicily was an ancient Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history Bibliotheca historica, much of which survives, between 60 and 30 BCE. It is arranged in three parts. The first covers mythic history up to the destruction of Troy, arranged geographically, describing regions around the world from Egypt, India and Arabia to Europe. The second covers the Trojan War to the death of Alexander the Great. The third covers the period to about 60 BC. Bibliotheca, meaning 'library', acknowledges that he was drawing on the work of many other authors.

Ethiopia Country in East Africa

Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country in the northeastern part of Africa, known as the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, the de facto state of Somaliland and Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, South Sudan to the west and Sudan to the northwest. With over 102 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent with a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa, which lies a few miles west of the East African Rift that splits the country into the Nubian and Somali tectonic plates.

in hieroglyphs

In Graeco-Roman times, there was a distinct dialect of Coptic spoken in Asyut, known as "Lycopolitan", after the Greek name for the city. Lesser-used names for this dialect are "Sub-Akhmimic" and "Assiutic".

A large Byzantine Treasure was discovered near the city in the early twentieth century and is now dispersed amongst a number of museums in the West. The hoard is composed of some of the most elaborate jewellery to survive from late antiquity.

Asyut was the end of 40 Day Road that connected the city to Darfur through the Selima and Kharga Oases. The history of the road, known by local herders as Darb al-Arba'in, goes back over 700 years. It was used as a pathway for great caravans of up to 12,000 camels at its peak in the 14th century. [9]

Modern Asyut

Today, the city of Asyut has almost 400,000 inhabitants. [10] It is the Egyptian city with one of the highest Coptic Christian concentration of approximately 50%. [11] It is also home to the Assiut University, one of the largest universities in Egypt, to the Assiut Barrage, and to the Lillian Trasher Orphanage.

The city is one of the only cities in the world that still makes silver appliqué-work shawls and is home to a large textile industry. The city also produces fine pottery, inlaid woodwork, and rugs. [12]

The Virgin Mary is reported to have appeared in Asyut on 17 August 2000. This apparition is recognized as an official Marian apparition by the Coptic Orthodox Church and remembered in the Deir el-Muharraq, Monastery of the Virgin Mary.[ citation needed ]

Asyut is the terminus of the Ras Shukheir-Asyut oil pipeline, the terminus of the Cairo-Asyut gas pipeline and the beginning of the proposed Asyut-Qena gas pipeline, the last two being part of the Nile Valley Gas Company Pipeline Project. [13] Aysut is next to the Aysut Dam across the Nile river in the neighboring port of Al-Hamra. The dam was built in 1902 and a hydroelectric plant was added in the 1980s. [12]

Coptic Catholic Eparchy

On 10 August 1947, a Coptic Catholic eparchy (Eastern Catholic Diocese) of Assiut (or Lycopolis) was established on southern Egyptian territory split off from the Coptic Catholic Eparchy of Luqsor, each suffragan of Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria. Its episcopal see is the cathedral of the Mother of Divine Love, in Assyut.

Suffragan Eparchs (Bishops) of Assiut

(all Coptic Rite)



Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as hot desert (BWh). It is the driest city of Egypt. [14] Luxor, Minya, Qena and Asyut have the widest difference of temperatures between days and nights of any city in Egypt, with almost 16 °C (29 °F) difference. The city of Asyut is sandwiched between two mountain ranges of about 600m height. There is also a lowering in elevation in mid Egypt, from the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. This gives the city and nearby towns and villages the similar properties of a continental climate, meaning that the city has harsh and chilly cold winter weather, and very hot but non-humid summers. During summer the temperature can exceed 42 °C (108 °F). Yet, in winter Asyut gets below 0 °C (32 °F) temperatures during the night and frost can easily form, while hail or snow are rare because of the low average of the city's precipitation and general low humidity.

The highest record temperature was 51 °C (124 °F), recorded on July 23, 1994, while the lowest record temperature was −2 °C (28 °F), recorded on January 16, 2008. [15]

Climate data for Asyut
Record high °C (°F)32.2
Average high °C (°F)19.3
Daily mean °C (°F)11.7
Average low °C (°F)4.7
Record low °C (°F)0.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)0
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)52423628252732364042485238.3
Mean daily sunshine hours 9910101112121211109810
Source #1: NOAA [16]
Source #2: Weather2Travel for sunshine [17]

Notable people


See also


  1. More often[ citation needed ] spelled Assiout or Assiut.

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  1. "UNdata - record view - City population by sex, city and city type". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  2. Wilkinson, Toby (2013). The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 35. ISBN   1408852985.
  3. Ptol. iv. 5. § 63; Steph. B. s. v.; Strabo xvii. p. 813)
  4. (Plin. v. 9. s. 11)
  5. (Itin. Anton. p. 157)
  6. Macmillan & Co (1905). Guide to Egypt and the Sudan: Including a Description of the Route Through Uganda to Mombasa. Macmillan. pp. 105–.
  7. (ii. 88; comp. Aelian. Hist. An. x. 28)
  8. (Champollion, Descript. de l'Egypte, vol. i. p. 276; Jollois, Egypte, vol. ii. ch. 13.)
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  10. "Egypt". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  11. "The Coptic Orthodox Church in action - Al-Ahram Weekly". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  12. 1 2 "Asyūṭ Egypt". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  13. "North Africa Pipelines map - Crude Oil (petroleum) pipelines - Natural Gas pipelines - Products pipelines". Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
  14. "Egypt Climate Index". Climate Charts. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  15. "Asyut, Egypt". Voodoo Skies. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  16. "Asyut Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  17. "Asyut Climate and Weather Averages, Egypt" . Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  18. Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Lycopolis"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.


Coordinates: 27°11′N31°10′E / 27.183°N 31.167°E / 27.183; 31.167