Small Temple of Abu Simbel (Abu Sunbul, Egypt) : General view, looking up, depicting the right deified statue of Nefertari

unknown (Egyptian (ancient)
Abu Sunbul, Upper Egypt, Egypt
ca. 1279-1250 BCE
Physical Description:
10 m (height, colossi)
Date Depicted:
8000 BC - 499 AD
Abu Simbel is a site in Egypt, on the west bank of the Nile in Lower Nubia, 280 km south of Aswan. With the construction of the Aswan Dam in the early 1960s, the temple complex was one of a number of ancient monuments saved by being moved to a new site. Having been cut into pieces and reassembled, it now stands on the shores of Lake Nasser, 64 m higher and 180 m west of its ancient site. It was already an ancient sacred site when Ramesses II (reigned ca. 1279-ca. 1213 BCE) chose it for his most grandiose, and most famous, Nubian monument. The construction of the Great and Small Temples of Abu Simbel began in the early years of Ramesses II, and they were completed by around the 25th year of his reign. The façade of the Small Temple is dominated by six colossi (h. 10 m), four of Ramesses II and two of his chief wife Nefertari, to whom the temple is dedicated. Smaller statues of the royal children (princes with the King, princesses with the Queen) flank the larger ones. The doorway leads into a square hall supported by six square piers. The sides of the piers facing inwards towards the aisle have been carved into the form of sistra with heads of the goddess Hathor. The entrance hall is decorated with two scenes of Ramesses II smiting his enemies, accompanied by Nefertari. Nefertari in this temple was identified with a local form of the goddess Hathor.
Variant Titles:
Abu Simbel; Temple of Hathor
Architecture -- Egypt -- (YVRC)
19th Dynasty
New Kingdom
Ramesside period
Egyptian (ancient)
Accession Number:
architecture (AAT)
religious buildings: temples (AAT)
Content Type:
Sculptures, Models, & Architecture
Copyright Scott Gilchrist, Archivision, Inc
The use of this image may be subject to the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) or to site license or other rights management terms and conditions. The person using the image is liable for any infringement.
Access Restrictions:
Yale Community Only
architectural exteriors; deities; rulers and leaders; Ramses II, King of Egypt carving buildings; religious buildings; temples; complexes; sites (locations); archaeological sites; excavations (sites)
Source Creator:
Gilchrist, Scott
Source Title:
Archivision Module One
Source Created:
2878 Chamonix, Montreal QC
Archivision, Inc.
Source Note:
Purchase, Visual Resources Collection, May, 2011; photographer Scott Gilchrist
Yale Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Digital Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Local Record Number: