(redirected from Elephantine Island)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Elephantine Island: Philae Island


(ĕl'əfăntī`nē), island, SE Egypt, in the Nile below the First Cataract, near Aswan. In ancient times it was a military post guarding the southern frontier of Egypt. The Elephantine papyruses, which date from the 5th cent. B.C. and describe a colony of Jewish mercenaries, were found there. Surviving ruins are extensive. The ancient nilometer, built to gauge the water level of the Nile, was restored in 1870.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the ancient Greek name of an island on the Nile opposite Aswan and of the ancient settlement on it. Elephantine was the center for Egypt’s trade in ivory and other goods with the South; it was also the capital of a nome. Notable structures include the remains of temples from the Old and Middle kingdoms, a granite triumphal arch from the fourth century B.C., and a nilometer described by Strabo, with marks of the highest water levels. Tombs of nomarchs have been preserved, as well as a necropolis with the mummies of sacred rams entombed in stone sarcophagi. Papyri from the 25th century B.C. and archives of local nomarchs and a Judaic military colony have been found on Elephantine.


Meyer, E. Der Papyrusfund von Elephantine. Leipzig, 1912.
Müller, H. W. Die Felsengräber der Fürsten von Elephantine. Hamburg-New York, 1940.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Used of programs or systems that are both conspicuous hogs (owing perhaps to poor design founded on brute force and ignorance) and exceedingly hairy in source form. An elephantine program may be functional and even friendly, but (as in the old joke about being in bed with an elephant) it's tough to have around all the same (and, like a pachyderm, difficult to maintain). In extreme cases, hackers have been known to make trumpeting sounds or perform expressive proboscatory mime at the mention of the offending program. Usage: semi-humorous. Compare "has the elephant nature" and the somewhat more pejorative monstrosity. See also second-system effect and baroque.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)
References in periodicals archive ?
Invited to fondle a young crocodile in a Nubian village on Elephantine Island (I told you this was an unforgettable holiday) I looked up from the 'poverty' of the Nubian's humble home to spot a four-metre satellite dish above the grass roof of his 'hovel'.
Look at the storage jars, where we used to keep the grain and look, isn't it charming the way the hens, the goats and the dogs live together in harmony in this pen just like the Nubians have always lived on the island." Elephantine Island has become a sort of unofficial theme park, albeit with washing machines next to the water jars and TV aerials marring the aesthetic outlines of the domed rooves.
As for the ninth piece, he revealed that it is a wooden Pharaonic mask, which was found at an auction house at the end of 2016 and was proved to be one of the artifacts stolen from the Elephantine Island Museum in Aswan in 2013.
CAIRO -- 12 April 2018: In collaboration with DAI Kairo (German archeological institute in Cairo), Mohamed Abdel Latif, assistant minister of antiquities for the Islamic, Coptic and Jewish sectors, launched "The Monkey for Four Dinars" temporary exhibition for Islamic antiquities at the Annex Museum on Elephantine Island in Aswan on Wednesday April 11.
The second discovery is a carpentry workshop unearthed in Elephantine Island in Aswan by the German -- French archeological mission.
4- Al Nabtat Island in Aswan : Geographically, this island is one of the two major islands on the Nile in the vicinity of Aswan, but it is hidden, as it is located behind Elephantine Island. It is a small oval-shaped island situated in the Nile of Aswan, less than one kilometer long and less than a half kilometer wide, and it has a botanical garden.
Elephantine Island at the border of Nubia is a historical island that was used by ancient Egyptians as a defensive line.
A couple of them are located on Elephantine Island in Aswan archipelago.
The structures were of three types: a simple vertical column in the water (as in the medieval example in central Cairo, the modern ornate housing of which is pictured above); a well with a culvert to the Nile (as, supposedly, at Kom Ombo temple, although this may simply be a well rather than a measuring device); or a set of steps cut into the bank (as at Elephantine Island, Aswan).