Abu Simbel, Egypt
At the site there are two temples. North of the larger temple there is The Small Temple dedicated to Nefertari for worship of the goddess Hathor, on the outside there are 35 foot tall statues of Ramesses II and Neferati.
The Great Temple is the larger of the two, at the front of it there are two pairs of 66 foot tall sitting statues of Ramesses II. At the base of the giant statues are smaller ones of his children, Nefertari and his mother. This temple is dedicated to the Solar gods AmonRe and Re Horakhte. These temples were constructed between 1444 BC. and 1424 BC. so, about 20 years.
Just like the Great Temple the Small Temple faces East. The details of the decorations inside are not as complex as the Great Temple but are still amazing.
A hall running through the center shows the shrine at the end.
Lighted back wall.
This is the place where sunlight on specific days shines to.
The Great Temple illuminated at night.
These temple were rediscovered in 1813 by Johann Ludwig Burkardt a Scholar from Sweden. Before the rediscovery the statues were covered in sand almost half way up the temples and abandoned since before the 6th century BC. Johann traveled down the Nile and spotted what wasn't covered in sand. He and Giovanni Belzoni (an Italian explorer) tried to dig up the site, but they were unsuccessful at first. Later returning to the site in 1817 Belzoni and William John Bankes were succesful in dig away the sand over the entrance and entering the temples.
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