On the First temple there are 4 statues of Ramesses II that sit down and measure 66 feet tall. The statues on the left are in the best condition because one of the statues on the right is cut in half, scientists think that this is because of an earth quake that happened shortly after the construction. Ra-Horakhty is the small statue in the middle and is one of the sun gods. On the second temple 6 33 feet tall statues stand, 4 of which are Ramesses and the other 2 are his favorite wife Nefertari. The temples inside look like most other Egyptian temples. As you follow the halls the rooms get smaller and smaller. The side chambers measure almost 60 feet in length and 54 feet wide
The Abu Simbel temples took 20 years to construct form 1444 BC to 1424 BC. Writing and scenes depicted on the walls depict The Battle of Kadesh in which the Egyptians won over the Hittites. The temples were also built to intimidate the Egyptians neighbors the Hittites. These temples were built to honor their king and queen as well, all 4 statues outside the large temples are of Ramesses and the miniature statutes at the bottom represent his favorite children. Ramesses ruled from 1279 BC to 1229 BC. In the small temple 2 of the statues are dedicated to Nefertari. The temple was unknown to others until 1813 when it was rediscovered. Soon after in 1817 the temple was explored for the first time by Giovanni Battista Belzoni. From 1964 to 1968 the temple was carefully cut then raised so the Aswan High Dam wouldn't destroy the temple.
Many years before Ramesses the site that Abu Simbel is in today was sacred to Hathor of Absek. The Egyptians are the ones who worshiped the temples. The temple however, is dedicated to the sun gods Amon-Re and Re-Horakhte. The temple was also to show off the Egyptian religion and to represent how proud and arrogant Ramesses was. The smaller temple symbolizes family, protecting gods and power. The sacred area is actually the open area in front of the temples and is marked by two walls. Each year on February 22 and October 22 the sun lines up and lights up the back wall. The wall has a scene from The Battle of Kadesh and sculptures, these dates (February 22 and October 22) were thought to be his coronation and birthday. They also represent the rising and setting of the sun.
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