Ain Sukhna

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Ain Sukhna
Ain sokhna porto.jpg
Country  Egypt
Governorate Suez Governorate
Time zone EST (UTC+2)

Ain Sukhna, (Arabic: العين السخنةel-ʿĒn el-Soḵna  Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [elˈʕeːn esˈsoxnæ], "the Hot Eye") is a town in Suez Governorate, Egypt, lying on the western shore of the Red Sea's Gulf of Suez. It is situated 55 km south of Suez and approximately 120 km east of Cairo.

Etymology[edit]

The town's name is from the Arabic word for "hot eye"/"hot spring", referring to the sulfur spring in the nearby Gabal Ataka, the highest peak in the Eastern Desert.

History[edit]

Recent archaeological excavations have shown that there was an ancient pharaonic port and settlement in this area. The site was first brought to attention in 1999 by Professor Mahmud Abd el-Raziq.[1] French and Egyptian archaeologists have been investigating this area since that time.

The site had been occupied during the Old Kingdom and through to the New Kingdom.

The port was used mainly to cross over to the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula on the other side of the gulf.

There are some important rock inscriptions in the area. In particular, there's an inscription by Mentuhotep IV, the last king of the 11th Dynasty (ca 2000 BC).

Large galleries carved into the sandstone mountain were found. They served as living and storage places. In one of them, a wall inscription from the time of Djedkare Isesi has been found. He was the king of the 5th Dynasty (ca 2400 BC). The inscription gives details on a large expedition in the area, looking for various minerals. It also mentions 'Byblos-boats' -- which Egyptians used for long seafaring expeditions. This is a very early mention of such boats.

As early as the Old Kingdom, seafaring expeditions on the Red Sea were organized from this port. Similar material was also found at the Wadi Maghareh, where many Old Kingdom inscriptions are found.[2]

Another similar ancient site is at Wadi al-Jarf, a little south of Ain Sukhna.

Climate[edit]

Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as hot desert (BWh), as the rest of Egypt.

Climate data for Ain Sukhna
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 18
(64)
19
(66)
22
(72)
27
(81)
31
(88)
33
(91)
34
(93)
34
(93)
31
(88)
29
(84)
24
(75)
19
(66)
26.8
(80.1)
Average low °C (°F) 7
(45)
7
(45)
9
(48)
12
(54)
16
(61)
19
(66)
20
(68)
21
(70)
19
(66)
16
(61)
13
(55)
8
(46)
13.9
(57.1)
Precipitation mm (inches) 4
(0.16)
4
(0.16)
4
(0.16)
2
(0.08)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.04)
3
(0.12)
4
(0.16)
22
(0.88)
Avg. rainy days 3 3 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 1 3 4 21
Mean daily sunshine hours 8 8 9 10 11 12 12 11 10 10 8 7 9.7
Source: Weather2Travel[3]
Ain Sukhna mean sea temperature[3]
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
22 °C (72 °F) 21 °C (70 °F) 21 °C (70 °F) 23 °C (73 °F) 24 °C (75 °F) 26 °C (79 °F) 27 °C (81 °F) 28 °C (82 °F) 28 °C (82 °F) 27 °C (81 °F) 25 °C (77 °F) 23 °C (73 °F)

Economy[edit]

Ain Sohkna's economy is chiefly dependent on tourism, with hydrocarbon extraction and refining and industry also playing a role.

Ain Sukhna beach, Suez - Mollusca collection
Ain Sukhna beach, Suez - Mollusca collection

Industry and natural resources[edit]

Ain Sokhna plays host to economically significant reserves of petroleum and natural gas, which are extracted in the area. The region additionally has sugar refineries and other heavy industry.

Tourism[edit]

Ain Sokhna's location fairly near to Cairo has made it a major destination for Cairene holidaymakers desiring to get out of the capital's notorious summer heat. With a motorway constructed in the late 2000s, Ain Sokhna is little more than an hour outside of Cairo and is thus chiefly a weekend destination, with longer holidays frequently taken on the Alexandria or the western part of the Northern Coast instead. It is one of the few resorts on Egypt's Red Sea Riviera chiefly occupied by Egyptians; most other resorts are occupied by European tourists.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abd el-Raziq M. 1999. New inscriptions at El-Ein el-Sukhna. Memnonia 10: 125 –31
  2. ^ Pierre Tallet, Ayn Sukhna and Wadi el-Jarf: Two newly discovered pharaonic harbours on the Suez Gulf. (PDF file) British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan 18 (2012): 147–68
  3. ^ a b "Ain Soukhna Climate and Weather Averages, Egypt". Weather2Travel. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°36′00″N 32°19′00″E / 29.6°N 32.3167°E / 29.6; 32.3167