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2007-03-05 14:46:51 [ Big Normal Small ] Comment

  The mysterious Nile. No one contributed more to its pharoanic legacy than Ramses the second. who ruled over Egypt for 67 years. The Israel Stela stone erected by his successor suggest Ramses the Great was the Pharoah during the biblical exodus. A great monument builder, none surpasses Abu Simbel which was completed around 24th year of his reign in 1213 BC.

  As usual with architectural pics, I needed to use a 28mm wide angle lens. The couple of human figures emphasise the scale of the monument, without making the image too “busy” as would a crowd of tourists.
  Ramses apparently chose Nubia as the site for propaganda purposes. Anyone sailing into Egypt would therefore behold it and if they stopped at the temple they would see depicted many captives-including Nubians. Unlike most monuments, the four gigantic-67 foot- statues of Ramses are not built from blocks of stone. Instead they were sculpted out of a mountain in accordance with an enormous grid that had been drawn on the slopes.
  Abu Simbel provided the inspiration for Mt Rushmore in South Dakota, giving lie to Percy Shelley’s poem about Ramses in Ozymandias:
  “whose frown and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command…look on my works, ye mighty, and despair”
  But one further momentous building feat was required. The construction of the Aswan High Dam was to raise the waters of Lake Nasser to a point that would submerge the monument. Accordingly in 1966-1968 work was undertaken to raise the temple 300 feet above its original site. This necessitated the monument being carved into over a thousand pieces, some weighing 30 tons. From his new vantage point, Ramses the Great continues to impose his cold command.

  CopyrightMark Berthold 2007
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