Ramses II and Abu Simbel
Ramses II was the last powerful Egyptian Pharaoh
who felt compelled to put his face everywhere. His
decorating style was simple: there could never be too
many monuments glorifying Ramses II. This is a
relatively modest sculpture at the Luxor Temple.
Also at Luxor, Ramses II built the largest single courtyard,
and all it displays are statues of Ramses, such as this pair.
The Luxor and Karnak Temples were linked by a grand
avenue of Sphinxes. Ramses II added his face to these as well.
A temple wall carving of Ramses II in a classic pose of the
triumphant Pharaoh, holding a defeated enemy by his hair.
Ultimately Ramses II needed to build the greatest possible
monument to himself, the Temple of Abu Simbel, constructed
3,000 years ago. No surprise that it featured four gigantic
sitting statues of its creator. The tiny figures at the feet of
Ramses are members of his family. Abu Simbel had to be
moved, block by block, to a new location in the 1960s, above
the rising waters created by the Aswan High Dam.
At Abu Simbel, Ramses II still appears with all his power
and glory intact, sitting next to the gods inside his temple.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the Intrepid
Berkeley Explorer's free video of Egypt by clicking on:
King Tut, Ramses, and Me