Photographer's Note

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Egypt has a lot of impressive ancient sites. For me personally one of the most impressive was Abu Simbel, a complex of two temples which were built on the southern border of the country to scare away potential invaders. It was well worth the long day trip by bus from Aswan. My photos are not great with hundreds of people everywhere but I decided I would like to mark this spot on my TE map since it was a very important trip for me.
Please note that this whole mountain with temple inside was cut into pieces and transferred to this location to save it from being flooded by the artificial lake created by the Aswan Dam. Polish archaeologist, Kazimierz Michałowski, has played an important role in this project.

Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples at Abu Simbel, a village in Nubia, southern Egypt, near the border with Sudan. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230km southwest of Aswan (about 300km by road). The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC, during the 19th dynasty reign of the Pharaoh Ramesses II. They serve as a lasting monument to the king and his queen Nefertari, and commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Their huge external rock relief figures have become iconic.

The complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968 under the supervision of a Polish archaeologist, Kazimierz Michałowski, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples was necessary or they would have been submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River.

It is believed that the axis of the temple was positioned by the ancient Egyptian architects in such a way that on October 22 and February 22, the rays of the sun would penetrate the sanctuary and illuminate the sculptures on the back wall, except for the statue of Ptah, a god connected with the Underworld, who always remained in the dark. People gather at Abu Simbel to witness this remarkable sight, on October 21 and February 21.

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5253 W: 103 N: 13427] (53892)
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