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Philae (fĪˈlē) [key], former island, SE Egypt, NE Africa, in the Nile River N of the Aswan High Dam. Of its temples, all dating from late Egyptian and classical times (600 B.C.–A.D. 600), the most famous was the temple to Isis, built by the early Ptolemies and not closed to pagan worship until the reign of Justinian. The island is now covered by the waters of Lake Nasser. An international fund (organized 1960) aided the removal of most of the monuments before the island was submerged.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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