Culture Magazine

Relocation of Abu Simbel

By Egyking
 Relocation of Abu Simbel and Aswan High Dam
   My presentation is on the Aswan High Dam and the relocation of Abu-Simbel. The Aswan High Dam is located in Aswan, Egypt, 4 miles south of the old Aswan Dam. The dam is 3600 metres long and 111 metres high. It has 12 turbines, which generate over 10 billion kilowatts of electricity every year.
   Construction on the Aswan High Dam started in 1960 and was completed after eleven years in 1971. Thirty thousand Egyptian people were involved in building the dam, working day and night to complete it.

Relocation of Abu SimbelRelocation of Abu SimbelRelocation of Abu SimbelRelocation of Abu SimbelRelocation of Abu Simbel

   The dam’s purpose is to control floods, provide hydroelectric power and irrigation. It captures the Nile River in the world’s third largest reservoir and the world’s largest artificial lake, Lake Nasser.
   With the creation of the dam and its reservoir, some negative side effects occurred. In order to build the dam, 90,000 Egyptian peasants had to move. To make matters worse, the rich silt that normally fertilized the dry desert land during annual floods is now stuck at the bottom of Lake Nasser. Farmers have been forced to use about one million tons of artificial fertilizer as a substitute for natural nutrients that once fertilized the arid floodplain.
   However, the farmers were not the only ones who were displaced.  Several monuments of Nubia were under threat from the rising waters of the Nile River, caused by the construction of the Aswan High Dam and its reservoir. One of these monuments was the Abu Simbel temples.
   Abu Simbel is comprised of two massive rock temples. The larger one is dedicated to Ra-Harakhty, Ptah and Amun, Egypt's three state deities of the time, and features four large statues of Ramesses II in the facade. The smaller temple is dedicated to the goddess Hathor, personified by Nefertari, Ramesses's most beloved wife.
The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his alleged victory at the Battle of Kadesh, and to intimidate his Nubian neighbors. Construction of the temple complex started in approximately 1244 BC and lasted until 1224 BC. Known as the "Temple of Ramses, beloved by Amun", it was one of six rock temples erected in Nubia during the long reign of Ramses II.
The salvage of the Abu Simbel temples began in 1964, and cost some $40 million American dollars. Because they were hewn out of single pieces of stone, the temples had to be sawed into more than 3,000 10-40 ton blocks. Between 1964 and 1968, the entire site was cut, dismantled and reassembled in a new location – 65 m higher and 200 m back from the river on an artifical hill made from a domed structure, in what many consider one of the greatest feats of archaeological engineering.

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