487 km upriver from Philae, it is a large island adjoining the west bank of the Nile, from which it is separated only at the season of the high Nile flood. It is the locus of three important settlements, designed as 21-S-2, 2-S-9, and 21-S-10, that are important because of their continued occupation from Late Christian into early modern times - thus giving an opportunity to track the cultural changes of the post-Christian times. Site 21-S-2 is notable for the presence of four "castle-houses," the largest number of these structures known from any one site. The settlements as well as two churches were fully excavated by an expedition from the University of Kentucky in 1969. Two cemeteries were extensively excavated in 1979 by a joint expedition of the University of Kentucky and the University of Colorado. Rather fragmentary murals from the church at 21-S-2 were conserved by an Italian expert in 1970, and are now in the National Museum in Khartoum. The island, which lies at the very head of Lake Nubia, has not been inundated, and can still be visited.
Sources: For the settlements, Adams 1994b and Adams and Adams 1998; for the cemeteries, Adams et al. 1999
(Contributed by William Y. Adams.)