Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sun shines on Ramses II at Abu Simbel

About Egypt

The first rays of the morning sun lit up the the statue of pharaoh Ramses II at his temple in Abu Simbel in southern Egypt, a phenomenon that occurs only twice a year.

The sun began to enter the temple at 0555 local time (02.55 GMT) for 24 minutes to illuminate the figure of the king of the XIX dynasty of the New Empire (1539-1075 BC). During that brief time, the solar rays traveled along a distance of 60 meters until reaching the sanctum of the temple to announce the start of the month of ‘Bert’, which marked the beginning of the agricultural season for the ancient Egyptians.

The sanctum contains four statues depicting Ramses II as equal to the gods seated in the middle of Re-Herakhty and Amen, with the god Ptah to the right of Amen. The rising sun illuminates all the figures except that of Ptah.

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