Sehel Island, spanning 3/4 the width of the Nile, is the primary large island below the Nile 's First Cataract and the Aswan Low Dam (1902). Following downriver, the next major islands after Sehel are: Saluga, Ambunarti, Elephantine, and then Kitchener's Island. There are a dozen smaller islands scattered around them.
The island was known in ancient tiles as Setet, and there are many archaeological sites, including sacred places, such as the temple of Anuket, the Egyptian water goddess, and goddess of the Nile's cataracts.
Seheil was home to a stone quarry for granite used during various Ancient Egyptian eras, and there are many inscriptions in the island's granite boulders. These inscriptions were usually left by travellers marking either the start or end of their journey to Nubia. There are several famous inscriptions that record ancient historical events. One is the Famine Stela, which is of Greco-Roman origin, but claims to record events from the time of Djoser and Imhotep.