Comparing The Temples Of Abu Simbel And The Sun Temple

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Pyramids, obelisks, tombs. These three ancient structures bring one country immediately to mind, Egypt. These religious monuments were erected with two thoughts in mind: grandeur to convey the pharaoh’s power, as well as durability so as to last for eternity. However, one important aspect of religion often forgotten in discussions regarding monuments are temples. Temples were abundant in ancient Egypt and could be seen dotting the Nile flood plain, stretching from Upper Egypt in the south to all the way north to the Nile Delta. Most of these temples though were constructed of mud brick, which led to the majority of them falling apart while few of those made of stone survive today due to later generations of leaders cannibalizing the stone…show more content…
Furthermore, the Small temple of Nefertari-Hathor also followed a similar interior structure as described by O’Conner, but on a smaller scale than that of The Sun Temple. Thus, both temples of Abu Simbel fit the parameters as outlined in O’Conner’s…show more content…
As, O’Conner himself writes there was, “considerable variation in detail, plan, architecture and decoration” due to different styles being popular during the construction of the temples. Abu Simbel is no different as the entire temple was built into the side of a cliff rather than of stone block. This could be attributed to a lack of stone quarries in Nubia, as the great quarries of Aswan were far north of the temple complex and so logistically impractical to transport material. However, I believe that Abu Simbel was built into the cliffs as a display of power to the conquered Nubian people and those who would attack Egypt as Ramesses was seen “as the god-protector of Egypt on the frontier…areas to the south.” Furthermore, although the Sun Temple’s entrance is orientated to the east the plan of the temple allows the sun only reaches into the sanctuary only twice a year during the months of the solstice in February and October. During this time, the sun shined upon a statue of Ramesses, rejuvenating him through the power of the sun. I believe, that Ramesses utilized this aspect to display his control over the sun as only a god could, thus reinforcing the belief that he is a god among men. Lastly, there are deviations in the floor plan of the temple including no courtyard and several magazines (storage rooms) branching off the area

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