CAIRO, March 26 (Xinhua) -- An Egyptian archeological mission unearthed a Nile River port that was used by ancient Egyptians for shipping stones for building temples and obelisks in the southern province of Aswan, the country's ministry of antiquities said in a statement on Tuesday.
Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), pointed out that the 100-meter-long port was discovered near the quarries of Gebel el-Silsila rocky gorge on the east bank of the river.
Abdel-Moneim Saeed, general director of Aswan and Nubia antiquities, said that the sandstone of the area was largely used during the 18th dynasty that ruled Egypt more than 3,500 years ago.
"Most of the stones of Egyptian temples were cut and transferred from that area, including Karnak Temple Complex and the temples of Medinet Habu and Esna in Luxor, Horus Temple in Edfu in northern Aswan and southern Luxor, and Kom Ombo Temple in Aswan," said the official.
Aswan is home to other ancient temples including well-known Abu Simbel Temple, whose inner sanctuary is illuminated by sunray penetration twice a year in rare phenomena witnessed by hundreds or even thousands of tourists.
Aswan was also a garrison town in ancient times and a main source of the sandstone and granite used for building many temples, sculptures and obelisks.