Temple of Amada

About 110 miles south of the High Dam, the Temple of amada is the oldest of the monuments around Lake Nasser. Dating from the 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom, the temple predates Ramesses II and Abu Simbel by around two hundred years; however, as is typical of the great pharaoh of Egypt, Ramesses’s mark and that of his son Merenptah can be found inside.

The temple is small, consisting of a hypostyle hall of 12 pillars that leads into the chapels dedicated to Amun-Re and Re-Harakhty behind it. The pylon that once preceded this structure is no longer here. In spite of its small size, the temple is interesting for the unique subject matter of its wall reliefs, which depict a victorious 18th dynasty pharaoh returning from conquest in Asia, as well as another account of a victorious campaign in Libya. The reliefs here are some of the best preserved throughout Nubia, still retaining much of their color. This is due to the fact that Nubia Christians plastered over them when they began using the temple as a church. Rather than destroying the artwork, the plaster actually preserved the images.

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