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Video: 3,000 tourists observe sun alignment on King Ramses II’s face at Abu Simbel

Over 3,000 foreign and Egyptian tourists gathered to observe the sun’s alignment on the statue of King Ramses II in Abu Simbel temple on Sunday in Aswan, Upper Egypt.

The event is a rare astronomical phenomenon that occurs twice a year on February 22 and October 22.

The first alignment on February 22 marks Ramses’s assumption to the throne and the start of the summer and harvest seasons for ancient Egyptians, and the second on October 22 falls on his birthday‫.

The Director General of Antiquities of Aswan and Nubia, and General Supervisor of the Tourism and Antiquities Sector in Aswan Abdel-Moneim Saeed said that the phenomenon began at 6:53 pm and continued until 7:13 pm.

He added the sun’s rays entered 60 meters inside the temple, passing through the Hypostyle Hall to the Holy of Holies Chamber, where the sun’s rays fell on the statue’s face.

The sunlight also illuminates the statues sitting next to Ramses II of the sun gods Re-Horakhte and Amon-Re.

These statues sit in the company of the Theban god of darkness, Ptah, who remains in shadow all year.


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