Abu Simbel


Abu Sim·bel

geographical name \ˌä-ˌbü-ˈsim-bəl\

Definition of ABU SIMBEL

locality S Egypt on left bank of the Nile SW of Aswân; site of two rock temples which were moved 1964–66 to higher ground when area was flooded after completion of Aswân High Dam

Abu Simbel

   (Concise Encyclopedia)

Sandstone figures of Ramses II in front of the main temple at Abu Simbel near Aswan, Egypt.—© Spectrum Colour Library/Heritage-Images

Site of two temples built by Ramses II in the 13th century BC. The area, at the southern frontier of pharaonic Egypt, lies near the present-day border between Egypt and The Sudan. The temples were unknown to the outside world until their rediscovery in 1813. The larger temple displays four 66-ft (20-m) seated figures of Ramses; the smaller was dedicated to Queen Nefertari. When the reservoir created by the building of Aswan High Dam threatened to submerge the site in the early 1960s, an international team disassembled both temples and reconstructed them 200 ft (60 m) above their previous site.

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