Monday, November 19, 2012

Back view of the hillock of the Abu Simbel temple in South Egypt

Back view of the hillock of the Abu Simbel temple in South Egypt

When visitors go to see the tourist attraction of Abu Simbel located in the southern portion of Egypt, most of them do not even realize that what they are seeing is not strictly the original. The statues and contents of the sanctum are original, but the location and the hillock housing the temple are not original, but were actually created only in the 1960's. Due to the construction of the high dam at Aswan with the consequent creation of the reservoir called Lake Nasser, the rising water threatened the original location of the Abu Simbel temple. There was a huge engineering effort to create a small dam around the temple to prevent water from entry, and then the entire temple was cut into small blocks and then taken to a higher location and re-created in exactly the same manner (the difference being that the original temple was on the side face of the rock, while the new temple is located in a hillock).
The Mysteries of Abu Simbel: Ramesses II
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