May 15, 2012

The Great Temple at Abu Simbel, 1817

The Great Temple at Abu Simbel, 1817
Captains Charles Irby and James Mangles

Abu Simbel
We now entered the temple, and thus ended all our labours, doubts and anxiety. This morning we built a wall to barricade the door; it was made of stones and mud, with a foundation of date trees driven in to prevent the sand from giving way. A toad crept out of the temple while we were thus employed, and hid himself in the rubbish at the entrance. We now bought down to the boat some statues of calcarious stone which we found in the temple.

At three we went to work again; two of the Ebsambul peasants came, and appeared astonished that we succeeded. They said the country people had no idea we should have accomplished our undertaking. They appeared to think the temple would make a good hiding place for their cattle, etc, whenever the Bedouins came to rob them.
Each party of travelers employed the local people to remove the sand from the temple site. As soon as they left, the sand began to drift down again, and later the local people were once again employed to clear it . . .


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