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, town (1986 pop. 45,737), S central Egypt, on the Nile River. It is an agricultural trade center and has paper mills and a sugar refinery. Idfu was the capital of a predynastic upper Egyptian kingdom that flourished c.3400 B.C. and worshiped Horus.
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(present-day Idfu), an ancient city in Upper Egypt, in what is now the muhafazah (governorate) of Aswan; situated on the left bank of the Nile. From predynastic times, Edfu was the center of the cult of the sun-god, who was depicted as a winged disk. Later this god was identified with Horus and then with Apollo, and as a result the city was known as Apollonopolis Magna in Greco-Roman times.
Preserved structures include a temple complex devoted to the worship of Horus; the complex, which dates from Ptolemaic times (237 B.C. to the mid-first century B.C.), was built on the site of an ancient temple of the time of Ramses III. Excavations conducted in the 1920’s and 1930’s yielded residential quarters of the city and a necropolis. Articles of everyday use have been found, some from the period of the Old Kingdom but mainly from the Greco-Roman, Coptic, and Byzantine periods.
REFERENCESRochemonteix, M., and E. Chassinat. Le Temple d’Edfou, vols. 1–11. Paris-Cairo, 1897–1934.
Tell Edfou, vols. 1–3. Cairo, 1937–39.