Abu Simbel, Egypt

Abu Simbel, Egypt

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Caption: Abu Simbel, Egypt, satellite image. North is at top. The two temples of Abu Simbel are at centre, on the shores of Lake Nasser, where they were moved to save them from the rising waters of the artificial lake. Access roads and buildings are at upper left. The reconstruction preserved the original design of the temple, which was aligned so that the Sun would illuminate statues in the inner sanctuary on important dates twice a year. The temples were carved out of the sandstone rock on the orders of Pharoah Ramesses II, in the 13th century BC. They were built as a monument to Ramesses, his wife Nefertiti, and the Egyptian gods Amun-Re, Ra-Horakhty, Ptah and Hathor. Image obtained by the Ikonos satellite on 19 December 2003.

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