Michael A. Stecker

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Abu Simbel
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The Abu Simbel Temples
The Temples of Abu Simbel are found 768 miles south of Cairo near the edge of the Nile River in southern Egypt. It was carved out of the side of a sandstone rock cliff and faces east so it can be illuminated by the rising sun. The complex was built between 1300 and 1233 B.C. by Ramses II. There are two temples. The greater temple was built for Pharoah Ramses II and dedicated to the the three principal gods of ancient Egypt -- Ha-Rakhte, Ptah and Amen-Ra. The lesser temple --Temple of Hathor was built for Ramses's wife -- Nefertari and dedicaded to the goddess Hathor.

To avoid the rising waters caused by the construction of the Aswan High Dam the temples were cut into 950 blocks and reassembled over 60 meters up the sandstone cliff from where they had been built more than 3,000 years before. The salvage operation, sponsored by UNESCO and funded by more than 50 nations, began in 1964 and continued until 1968.

Please mouse click on any of the thumbnail photos below to see an enlargement