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Nubia - Temple of Abu Simbel by Antonio Beato

Nubia - Temple of Abu Simbel, 1880

Antonio Beato

If this image were a time machine, we’d have just arrived at the gates of a massive stone temple, at the edge of the Nile, in 1880. Standing on the hot sand, we’re dwarfed by four giant seated statues of pharoahs, or kings of ancient Egypt, depicted in their prime, with youthful faces, rectangular beards, and towering headdresses. They’re all meant to be the same pharoah, Rameses II. The smaller statues near the feet are his wives, twice as tall as the humans, included in the picture for scale. Look closely at the pharoahs’ legs: you’ll see 19th-century graffiti, and hieroglyphs on the pedestal below.

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Credit
The J. Paul Getty Museum
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