Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine el-Aref)
The new Crocodile Museum stands on top of a 15-metre hillock on the doorstep of the Ptolemaic temple on the east bank of the Nile at Kom Ombo, where the ancient Egyptians worshipped the crocodile-headed Sobek, their god of fertility.
The cult of Sobek as a crocodile centred on the ancients' dependence on the River Nile. People who worked or travelled on the Nile hoped that if they prayed to Sobek, the Nile crocodile god would protect them from attack by crocodiles.
"Sometimes the ferocity of a crocodile was seen in a positive light, and Sobek in these circumstances was considered the army's patron, as a representation of strength and power," Mohamed El-Biali, director of Aswan antiquities, told Al-Ahram Weekly.