The Kiosk of Trajan is in the foreground, while the Temple of Isis is at the right rear.
The Great Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel
The Nile can be seen in the background of this photograph. After the building of the first Aswan Dam the reservoir waters could at times reach the feet of the seated figures.
Many of these photographs depict the building of the first Aswan Dam at the turn of the century.
In the early 1900s a dam was built along the Nile River in Aswan, Egypt to help control flooding and to provide hydroelectric power to the region. However, in times of extreme flooding, it proved inadequate and the land and towns thought protected by the dam would be covered with flood waters. In the 1960s, it was decided that a second dam would be built at Aswan to solve the problem. This dam created a 500-mile-long lake. The area used to create the lake was located on the site of an ancient civilization known as Nubia. Prior to completion of the dam, the United Nations began a rescue operation to excavate the area so that endangered Nubian monuments could be uncovered and moved to other locations. All together, twenty-four monuments were dismantled and relocated and many others were identified and documented before the area was flooded to make the lake. Four temples were donated to those nations who had contributed the largest effort. In this way, the Netherlands received the temple of Taffeh, which was rebuilt inside the RMO. Above are photographs taken of Nubian monuments before the second Aswan Dam was completed.
Unfortunately, the likelihood of further archaeological study at any sites in Nubia, is all but impossible became many of the primary areas of investigation now lie under 250 feet of water, at the bottom of Lake Nasser. Over 150,000 Nubians and Sudanese were forced to relocate off the land their ancestors had called home for over 5,000 years. Over 45 Nubian villages were washed away along the banks of the Nile south of Aswan.
They were resettled in and around the city of Aswan and in villages further north. There is no way to estimate the total number of temples and tombs which now lie at the bottom of Lake Nasser, nor is there any way of knowing the many secrets these structures currently hold. Because of the creation of the Aswan Dam, the world will never have an opportunity to study the full impact Africans from the southern Nile Valley had on the development of ancient Egypt and subsequent civilizations.
The Aswan Dam and Nubia
Pillars in Kalabsha
A group of ancient Egyptian pillar monuments in Kalabsha, Egypt. They were raised out of a lake created by the Aswan Dam.