Half a century after his rescue

Abu Simbel temple be decorated with the first astronomical complex for observing the stars in Africa?

Along the west bank of the great river "Nile" lies Nasser Lake where Abu Simble Temples the magnificent pharonic monuments are 300 m. far away from Aswan High Dam, Along the east bank of the river there is a large area of land over looking Nasser's Lake, quite, warm and clear sky that amazes any observer to the shining stars, Most wonderful are the moon nights, such an amazing sight.


The west bank: The sun rays - according to an astronomical study – passes through the great temples of Abu Simble for 63 m. in depth only on 22th Feb. and the 22th Oct. each year.

Since the two temples were so unique yet they were to be protected from drowning by the water stored by Aswan's High Dam, Abu Simble Temples' salvage started on March 1964 and was safely completed on Sept 1969.


In brief procedures of the salvage were to extract them from the mountains, to be cut with a certain method that preserves carefully the lines and original marks, by numbering each block to be lifted by iron bars and stored.



The Salvage:

1. Constructing Cofferdam: Temporary dam 370 m. length, 27 m. high surrounded the sight to prevent any water leak.

2. Sand fill: The interface of Ramsis' statue was covered by soft sand to avoid any damage caused by rocks collapsing from the mountain, tunnels were digged to allow workers to move easily, hydraulic methods were applied hold the dome from inside and pad sheets were used to cover the drawings from dust.


3. Excavation: Above the temples using sensitivity devices heavy machines erased mountain's layers carefully then electric hammers were used till 80 cm. depth to preserve factor of safety.

4. Cutting: Each block was numbered and cut by electric cutters till 70 cm. depth and the remaining 10 cm. were cut by handsaw to preserve the valuable drawings from any damage, The big temple had 807 blocks and the small one had 235 blocks that weigh app. 20:30 tons.


5. Reconstructing the new sight: The new sight is 200 m. horizontally and 70 m. vertically from the water level, blocks were put together using cement sheets and the cutted lines were covered by epoxy mixed with the same old sand resulted from previous cutting inorder to preserve the original color.

6. Dome's construction: Dome was covered from outside exactly like the mountain yet empty from inside 22 m. high, 60 m. radius and was built using a cement base of 17 m. depth to hold the temple as a whole, Dome's thickness is 2.4 m. at bottom and 1.4 m. at top.


7. General shape: The temple's interface is 38 m. depth, 33 m. high and exact blocks were used to get the original interface back, Despite the fact that the three statues are the same but their faces are different; sad face, calm face, happy face, However each statue weighs 1000 tones app. but was carefully assembled using cement sheets.

The East Bank and New Miracle Discover: Since I spent app. five years constructing and supervising the construction of the hotel, residential buildings, villas, chalets, police station, engineers' offices and the Nubian village I recommend a general plan that includes all possible facilities to the oasis to add to tourism values inorder to benefit from the idea of the purity of the east bank of Nasr's Lake, I also encourage that never to allow random constructions especially that city of Abu Simble is considered a valuable touristic area.


The idea of the cultural & educational Astronomical Observatory:  Since the sky is very clear even on dark nights it is obligatory to build an educational & cultural astronomical observatory with a glass dome to study stars and planets using modern telescopes and enjoying a wonderful sight beside Nasr's lake, Also we should construct the planets' observatory at an enough distance that preserves the temples, The glass dome should be movable according to weather temperature, It would be considered one of the best spots to observe and study astronomy for those who used to travel to Canary Islands only to observe the sky so instead would come to Abu Simble.

Solar energy is an excellent solution to provide clean energy needed in this wonderful to be oasis of bungalows, artificial lagoons, green areas planted with special trees and flowers to attract migrating colored birds from Europe, floating boats that would follow the sun rays from east to west of Nasser lake overlooking the magnificent sight of the temples.


I sincerely encourage Dr. Khaled El Anany – minister of tourism and monuments and Dr. Farouk El Baz – the international scientist & geologist to consider establishing the astronomical observatory within a new oasis at the east bank of Nasser Lake that would certainly obsesses the world's attention.

MedhatAbd El Rahman Ibrahim
Consultant Engineer & Architect

مجلة علمية معرفية وثائقية تتناول الشخصية المصرية