In 1257 BCE, Pharaoh Ramses II (1279-13 BCE) had two temples carved out of solid rock at a site on the west bank of the Nile south of Aswan in the land of Nubia and known today as Abu Simbel. Long before Ramses II, the site had been sacred to Hathor of Absek. The temple built by Ramses, however, was dedicated to the sun gods Amon-Re and Re-Horakhte...and Nefertari. Because of their remote location near the Sudanese border in sourthern Egypt, the temples were unknown until their rediscovery in 1813. They were first explored in 1817 by the Egyptologist Giovanni Battista Belzoni. witcombe.sbc.edu/sacredplaces/abusimbel.html Music - Tribe of One by Brad Hord Google Earth www.360cities.net/ www.360cities.net/profile/360-images?utm_source=google_earth&utm_medium=all_images www.360cities.net/profile/mikeanton?utm_source=google_earth&utm_medium=all_images www.mikeanton.com The actual interior of the temple is inside the cliff in the form of a man-made cave cut out of the living rock (cf. The Sacred Cave). It consists of a series of halls and rooms extending back a total of 185 feet from the entrance. The long first hall is 54 feet wide and 58 feet deep and has two rows of Osirid statues of Ramses each 30 feet high. Those on the north side are shown wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt, while those on the south wear wearing the Double Crown of Lower Egypt. At the west end of the main hall are three doors, the side ones leading into lateral chambers, and the central one opening into a room with four square pillars. From this room a doorway leads to the vestibule, and beyond that is located the innermost shrine with seated statues of the gods Ptah, Amun-Ra, the deified Ramses II, and Re-Horakhte. The most remarkable feature of the site is that the temple is precisely oriented so that twice every year, on 22 February and 22 October, the first rays of the morning sun shine down the entire length of the temple-cave to illuminate the back wall of the innermost shrine and the statues of the four gods seated there. witcombe.sbc.edu/sacredplaces/images/abusimbelshrine.jpg Precisely this same effect was apparently also fundamental to the design of the artificial cave of Newgrange in Ireland.