Abu Simbel

Trip Start May 04, 2011
Trip End Oct 08, 2012

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of Egypt  ,
Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Today was the excursion to the much awaited temples of Abu Simbel. This is where Ramses II built a temple for himself and one for his wife Nefertari. This was the first time that a king built a temple for the Queen. These temples are extremely well preserved to the point that you wonder if they were reconstructed. Ramses II ruled from 1202-1295BC and they theory is that Nefertari, which means the beauty of all beauties was the sister of Nefertiti and was perhaps Nubian. Abu Simbel costs UNESCO $44 million USD to move out of the lake and rebuild on a replica mountain from 1964-1968.

It is the first time in ancient Egypt history that we see square pillars because they were able to use the support of the mountain vs. the usual round columns which exists in the rest of the Temples in Luxor. It is also the first time you see a scene depicting motion as in the Battle of Kadish. Apparently the battle is actually just a legend about the defeat of the Hitites and they are able to decipher action because the Ramses is on his chariot with two arms shooting and his single horse has eight legs.

The temple at Abu Simbel makes it clear that Ramses II thought highly of himself. There are massive statues of him everywhere. The most interesting thing about his Temple is the rear sanctuary which houses the four gods: Pitha (God of darkness), Osirus, Horus and? The intentional position of the four seated gods is based on the calendar so that when all three gods except for Pitha (God of darkness) are illuminated by the sun, they know that it is either October 21 or February 22 when the river flooded and were known as the festivals of Ramses.

Upon return from Abu Simbel I had lunch on the cruise ship as we set sail. We arrived to Kom Ombo a couple of hours later. Kom Ombo was built by the Greeks in 180BC and finished by the Romans 400 years later. It is the only known temple that worships two Gods: Sopek (crocodile) and Horus (the falcon). Because the temple was so close to the Nile filled with crocs, they figured it was better to worship the crocs and that way they wouldn't destroy the mummies. I guess it worked.

This temple has a visible scene demonstrating the four rituals necessary for a King to properly enter the temple: 1. King makes offering to the holy priest, 2. God of heaven and God of writing depicting purification, 3. The king surrounded by all the Gods represents the key of life and 4. Corornation.

Now is when I get lazy with my note taking, the temples are all starting to blend together. Next was Edfu Temple, another one dedicated to God of protection; Horus. This one took 120 years to build starting in 237BC. The important feature here is the very large python walls. I learned that Horus lived here but his wife Hathor lived in Dandara, 165km north of Edfu and that they each only visited each other once as depicted in the drawings on the walls. Mamoud explained that there are three ways to read hyrogliphics. They can be read from left to right or right to left determined by which way the characters are facing and also up to down as in a cartouche. The other cool scene in this temple is that of the perfumes. It has a detailed scene showing the process for making essences.

Tonight I joined the Aussies for dinner and then we all brought our bottles and mixers and pre partied in someone’s room until taking the party downstairs for some dancing to cheesy Euro-pop.
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: