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Moving Temple of Ramses II (Egyptian Pharaoh)

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Published on Mar 6, 2010

The temple at Abu Simbel, which Ramses II (the Egyptian Pharaoh who ruled Egypt for 66 years from 1270 to 1213 BC) ordered built near the border of Nubia and Upper Egypt, was dedicated to two sun gods, Amun-Re and Re-Horakhte. Standing 100 feet (33 meters) tall, the temple was carved into an already-standing sandstone mountain on the banks of the Nile. Four colossal statues of Ramses, each 66 feet (22 meters) high, guard the entrance to the temple. Rising to the pharaoh's knees are smaller statues of family members: his mother; favorite wife, Nefertari; and son, Prince Amonherkhepshef. Inside the temple, three connected halls extend 185 feet (56 meters) into the mountain. Images of the king's life and many achievements adorn the walls. Rock-cut temples may have been especially significant in ancient Egypt because the bulge in the otherwise flat land may have signified the location where the gods emerged from the Earth, says Williams.

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