Abu Simbel - The Small Temple of Nefertari
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The Small Temple at Abu Simbel is dedicated to Hathor and Ramesses II’s chief wife, Nefertari. Carved into the façade are six colossal statues, four of Ramesses II and two of Nefertari, each measuring 10 m (33 ft) in height. Some of the king’s children, represented on a smaller scale, are shown flanking the legs of the royal couple.

The main hall contains six pillars, whose inward-facing surfaces are decorated with heads of the goddess Hathor in relief. In a vestibule off the hall is an unusual scene showing Queen Nefertari being crowned by the goddesses Isis and Hathor. At the back of the temple is a sanctuary with a niche containing a rock-cut statue of the goddess Hathor in the form of a cow emerging from her mountain, protecting a small statue of Ramesses II. In this sanctuary, the relief decoration depicts Nefertari paying homage to Nut and Hathor, and Ramesses II worshipping his queen and himself as a deified king.

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The Small Temple of Nefertari (SCA Archives)


The façade of the Small Temple (Kenneth Garrett)