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View of Elephantine Island at Aswan
We took our “holiday weekend” to Aswan on Thursday and Friday and at 10:30 am checked into the New Cataract Hotel. This is the amazing view from our rooms – all with Nile view overlooking the Elephantine Island Temple of Khnum.
At the Kalabsha Temple   At the Kalabsha Temple
Our first visit was to the small island now housing the Temple of Kalabsha, the rock shrine of Beit el Wali, and several other small buildings. All of these would have been lost to the creation of Lake Nasser by the Aswan High Dam back in the 1960s if they had not been taken down and rebuilt. Here we are looking at the unfinished reliefs on the exterior of the Kalabsha Temple, dedicated to the Nubian god Mandulis. Note that Yasmin has finally joined us after working on other things in Cairo.
At the Kalabsha Temple
Inside the temple sanctuary Elaine photographs the Roman period reliefs on the wall.
On the roof at the Kalabsha Temple
Maria and Wendy enjoy a moment on the rooftop of the temple.
At the rock cut shrine of Beit el Wali   At the rock cut shrine of Beit el Wali
Katie, Maria, and Elaine are joined by Halle, daughter of my close friend Ahmed Suleiman, as they examine the fine sculptured reliefs on the rock cut shrine of Beit el Wali. Built by Ramesses II in his early years of rule, the shrine contains beautiful raised and sunken relief decoration, such as this fine scene of the goddess Anukis suckling the king.
At the temple of Philae
Here we are in the temple of Philae, dedicated to the goddess Isis. This temple, like those of Kalabsha and Beit el Wali, was moved in anticipation of the creation of Lake Nasser. Located behind the original Aswan Dam, now a hundred years old, Philae spent some seventy years partially inundated until a UNESCO project dismantled and reconstructed it on nearby island at a higher elevation. Behind us on the pylon is the king offering to Isis.
the temple of Philae
Yasmin, Maria, Fatma, and Halle enjoy the sculptured reliefs on the walls.
Osiris shrine at Philae
Elizabeth explains the interesting mythological scenes on the walls of an Osiris shrine at Philae. Elaine, Yasmin, Wendy, and Scott are listening intently. She’s a born professor!
The graduate students pose together
In front of the Roman period kiosk and quay, the graduate students pose together: Elaine, Elizabeth, Scott, Fatma, and Yasmin.

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