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About Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel, Egypt

Abu Simbel is an archeological site in Egypt consisting of two massive rock temples. It is located on the banks of Lake Nasser, where it was moved in the 1960s to avoid the rising Nile waters due to the construction of the Aswan Dam. Together with other Nubian monuments, Abu Simbel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Aswan Dam was constructed during the period between 1958 and 1970 and was named for President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who initiated the project.

The monument’s original name was “Temple of Rameses, Beloved of Amun.” It was built in the 13th century BC, but eventually fell into disuse and was buried beneath desert sands for centuries. Tour guides at the site say that the name “Abu Simbel” is that of a young local boy who guided European explorers to the site of the buried temple which he had seen from time to time in the shifting sands. The temple was rediscovered and excavated in the early 19th century.

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