Abu Simbel's time to shine: Egyptian antiquities



At the feet of the gods, Abu Simbel, Egypt. Photo: Belinda Jackson.
There's a lot of change going on in Cairo at the moment, but some things, thankfully, remain the same. 

Later this morning, the sun will touch the face of King Ramses II in the magnificent Abu Simbel temple, south of Aswan, by the Sudanese border. 

The temple, built in 1257BC, was constructed so that twice a year, the sun's rays would shine into the inner sanctuary and light all but the statue of Ptah, the god of the Underworld, reports the Ministry of Tourism today. The two days of the year are October 22 and February 22.

The temple is dedicated to the gods Amun, Ra- Horakhty and Ptah and also to Ramses, who rather fancied himself as a deity.

You can see a live streaming of the event on www.youtube.com/egypt or on local television, if you're in Egypt. The phenomenon will occur at 5.53am local time, and last for 20 minutes.

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