Social Icons

The temple of Nefertari at Abu Simbel


This small temple is located hundred meters at north of the great Temple and it is cut in the rock mountain that ancient Egyptian called, the "purified mountain" or the “northern mountain." In ancient times, the Egyptians used to come to this mountain (of the small) before the small temple was cut because they believe that goddess Hathor living in this mountain in the form of a cow, so they come to the mountain with the sacrifice to the goddess.

The Egyptian goddess Hathor is the goddess of this love and beauty, music and dance which was equalled with the ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite. However, the name of Hathor (Hat-Her) "means the housing of (god) Horus," because it had raised Horus in the absence of his mother Isis while she searched for her husband Osiris. Ramses used this mountain to build a temple and devoted it to two characters;  his beloved wife Nefertari and goddess Hathor. It is known that the Queen Nefertari did not see her temple at the time of its opening ceremony because she was ill and was accompanied by Governor of the Nubia, Heqa Nakht. However, the temple sheds light on the children of Ramses from his wife, Nefertari and they depicted in the temple of their mother. It is known that Nefertari gave birth to four boys and two girls.

King Ramses II has dominated the small temple where we find him owns 12 scenes on the walls while Nefertari has only seven scenes in her temple, and he owns four statues in the facade while his wife has two.
The temple has generally feminine mutilation that appear in the form of thin lines of the Queen scenes and in the highlighting features of interest in the aesthetic of women, however, most of the scenes of the temple, focusing on daily religious ceremony, such as offering flowers, carrying Sistrum, the provision of wine and the burning of incense over the sacrifice.

The facade

The height of the façade is about 12 meters and its width 28-meters, and it is divided into the two towers, each tower contains a set of three statues, two for King Ramses II and one to his wife Nefertari. The most beautiful statue of Nefertari is the second one at the right side who shows the Queen wearing a long dress and holding a Sistrum in her hands and over her head the distinguished Hathoric crown that has two horns and the sun disk between them. Between the legs of the statues and around there are six small statues of the children of Nefertari and Ramses.

The King records a dedication text to his wife Nefertari between the second and third recesses from the left where he records these words:  "This is a great monument for Great Royal wife Nefertari, for which the sun rises."

The Hathoric hall

After passing the main entrance the visitor will enter a square hall which is divided into three axes by six Hathoric columns. The capital of each column has human face and cow’s ears and the shaft has offering formula, however, the sides of these columns have scenes of the gods with the King and Queen.


The walls of this hall Show the control of the king on the temple of his wife Nefertari.

The southern wall show him receiving the manat pectoral from the goddess Hathor, the same pectoral which the goddess gave to her son "Ihy," that earned him wish and happiness and the goddess Hathor wishes for the King to receive the same share of happiness.

Followed by King Ramses stands between the deities Horus and Seth who are placing double Crown on the head of King.


The Queen, for the first time, appeared on the wall offers flowers and Sistrum to the goddess Anukis, the mistress of the first cataract and it is known that Sistrum was a symbol of the goddess Hathor.  It was made of a wooden box with a knob in the form of Hathor’s head and have been used in ritual religious, and always have been a fortune teller who goddess Hathor incurred by shaking to expel evil spirits and escape from the voices of them.

At the end of the southern wall, King Ramses offers a small statue of the goddess of the truth, Maat, to god Amun - Ra and this ritual means compatibility of the King with the path of truth, right, and this declaration had to be given to the state god Amun - Ra.


On the opposite northern wall, Ramses II offers sacrifices to the god of artisans and craftsmen Ptah.


Then he stands before Herishef who has ram’s head.


Followed by the king stood before the goddess Hathor. 

At the end of the wall, he offers two jars of wine to the god Re-Hor-Akhty god of the sun and Lord of Heliopolis.


The eastern wall contains a dual scenes on both sides of the main entrance of the temple, but with minor differences according to the topography of the place. On the northern half of the eastern wall the King is holding the heads of Asiatic prisoners and he hits them with a mace and god Horus of Meha who stand in front of him while Queen Nefertari standing behind to support him.  In the southern half of Asian prisoners were replaced by Africans or Nubian prisoners and in this case god Amun -Re who is standing in front of the king.   

Any way, the Queen Nefertari owns the entire Western wall and on the northern half of it, she offers flowers to the gods Hathor mistress of Ibshek and she offers flowers to the goddess Mut of Luxor on the southern half.


The vestibule
The visitor could enter this hall through three doors on the west side of the Hathoric hall, and as soon as he get into the hall he will notes that the King Ramses II continues controlling the scenes on its walls. In the northern and southern side of the hall, there are two small rooms, which the priests of the temple used to store ritual sacrifice and the tools . 

On the western wall, King Ramses offers wine to the god Amun – Ra and god Re- Hor- Akhty.


However, In the far south side of this wall, Ramses offers sacrifice to the god Horus in his local forms that worshiped in Nubia (Horus of Aniba , of Kuban and  of Buhen )

Ramses shared his beloved wife in only one scene in the northern half of the eastern wall, both of them offer flowers to goddess Taoris the guardian goddess of birth of children, it is known that the goddess has always portrayed with a woman's body and the back of the head of a crocodile and hippo, but in this scene she depicted in a full human being and a Hathoric crown over her head so This is a distinct and unique scene for this goddess.

And the rest of the scenes in the hall belong to Queen Nefertari, in the southern half of the eastern there is the famous scene for the queen in this temple, the queen is standing between the goddesses Isis and Hathor, and both of them held the Hathoric crown on the head of the queen.  

Above the entrance to the side northern rooms the queen offers flowers to the cow goddess Hathor who overturned her boat in the Delta. 

On the northern tip of the western wall Queen Nefertari provide flowers to the triad of Elephantine Island in Aswan, Khonoum Satis and Anukis.


Sanctuary
The sanctuary is a small room when it is compared with the sanctuary of the great temple and this room has a prominent sculpture on the western side. This is a sculpture that depicts the head and feet of a cow which emerge from the western side, however, this is one of the forms of gods Hathor.

Under the chin of the cow, there is a small sculpture for King Ramses II, who appears to have left no opportunity for Nefertari to put her statue in her sanctuary. On both sides of the prominent cow, King Ramses offers flowers.