to Assiût. ASSIÛT. 16. Route. 225
Benisueif. The dam, which is 910 yds. long and 41 ft. high, was
constructed in 1898-1902 by Aird & Co. (also the contractors for the
Assuân Dam ; p. 365) from the original design of Sir W. Willcocks
and plans by Sir Benjamin Baker (d. 1907) and Sir W. Garstin. It
consists of eight sections, the first and last of which bave three arches
and a sluice, while the others hâve nine arches each. Each opening
(111 in ail) can be shut by an iron door. The dam is crossed by a
carriage-road. The steamer passes through the W. sluice. — Imme-
diately above the weir, on the W. bank, are the water-works at the
efflux of the Ibrâhîmîyeh Canal, the S. prolongation of the Bahr
Yûsuf (p. 223).
We land at (247 M.) El-Hamra, the palm-enclosed harbour of
Assiût. An embanked road, shaded by fine trees, leads from the
landing-place, past handsome private and public buildings, to the
town in 1/4 hr.
The tourist-steamers spend '/î day hère. — Railway Station, see p. 203.
Hôtel. New Hôtel, near the station. — Post & Telegraph Office. —
Steamboat Agencies. — Hospital of the American Mission (see p. 226), with
130 beds and three American physicians. — Public Baths, well fitted up.
Consular Agents. The American consular agent is Georgi-Bey Wîsa,
one of the leading inhabitants of the town, residing on the bank of the
river, near El-Hamra. There are also French, German, Italian, Russian,
and Austrian consular représentatives.
Pottery, Tulle Shawls (see below), and other Oriental Goods may be obtained
in the Bazaars at lower priées than at Cairo. European goods are dearer.
Assiût or Siût, the name of which still préserves the ancient
Egyptian Syowt, enjoyed considérable importance, even in anti¬
quity, chiefly owing to its favourable situation in the midst of an ex¬
tensive and fertile plain, 1272 M. in width, between the Libyan and
the Arabian mountains, and at the beginning of a great caravan route
leading to the oases in the Libyan désert and thence to the Sudân.
Assiût, however, seems to hâve been of little prominence politically.
The town was the capital ofthe Upper Sycamore Nome and the chief
seat of the worship of the god Wep-wawet, who was represented as
a wolf of the désert. This latter circumstance gave rise to the Greek
name Lycopolis, or 'wolf town'. The modem Assiût, which extends
for about 3 M. from E. to W., is the largest town (over 42,000 inhab.)
in Upper Egypt, the capital of a province, and the résidence of the
Mudîr. It has, however, lost part of its commercial importance since
the great caravans from W. Africa hâve frequented other routes and
places. The fine pottery of Assiût, especially its bottles and pipe-
bowls, is justly celebrated and forms an important article in its
export trade, which also deals in linen, embroidered leather goods,
carved ivory, natron, soda, and corn. Near the harbour are several
large palm-gardens, in which also grow other fruit-trees. The white
and black tulle shawls, with gold or silver embroidery, which are so
often bought by European ladies, are made at Assiût. The streets
and bazaars are full of busy life, especially on Saturdays, when the