Wadi es-Sebua, or Valley of the Lions (so-called because of the sphinx-lined approach to the temple forecourts) , is the site of two New Kingdom Egyptian temples, including one speos temple constructed by the 19th dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses II, in Lower Nubia.
The first temple was built by the 18th dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep III and subsequently restored by Ramesses II.
In its first stage, this temple “consisted of a rock-cut sanctuary (about 3 m by 2 m) fronted by a brick-built pylon, a court and a hall, partly painted with wall paintings.”
Relief of Ramesses II presenting an offering to the gods at Wadi es-Sebua
The temple was perhaps dedicated to one of the local Nubian forms of Horus, but his representations were altered to Amun at a later point in time. During the Amarna period, images of Amun were attacked and the decorations deteriorated but Ramesses II later restored and extended Amenhotep III’s temple by building structures in front of the pylon.
Sphinx of Ramesses II from his Wadi es-Sebua temple
Map Of Ancient Nubia
A brief look at the desolate ruins of the Temple of Wadi al-Sabua (Wadi el-Sebua), ancient Nubia, and was known in ancient times as the “House-of-Amun”.
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The temple is credited to Ramesses II of the 19th dynasty, approx. 1220 BC. The temple ruins are located about 140 kilometers (85 miles) south of the High Aswan Dam and are just 275 meters from Lake Nasser.
Google Earth image by www.360tourist.net
“House-of-Amun”, was salvaged (in 1964) and moved to a new, elevated site several kilometers to the northwest, while the earlier temple of Amenhotep III was, regrettably, left to be buried beneath the waters of Lake Nasser.
However, five stela from this temple are in the Aswan Museum. Both of these temples were part free standing and part speos, meaning that a section of the temples were hewn from the surrounding rock.
The image of the Ankh in Nubia
The temple built by Amenhotep III was dedicated principally to the Nuibian form of the God Horus, and later, apparently during the time of Ramesses II, to Amun. It was damaged during the Amarna Period, but later restored by Ramesses II.
The temple that was actually built on the orders of Ramesses II, utilizing at least some Libyan captives sometime around his 44th year as king, was dedicated to Amun-Re and Re-Horakhty. It was the third speos style temple that Ramesses II built in Nubia, the most famous of which is of course at Abu Simbel. The temple sphinx-lined approach in the two forecourts leading to the initial stairway provides the name of this area, which is known as the Valley of the Lions (Arabic Wadi al Sabua). The entire complex that proceeds the rock hewn chambers was enclosed within a huge brick wall over a meter thick on a rectangular plan measuring 35 by 80 meters, with buttresses on the north and south external sides.
Read More: The Temple of Wadi al-Sabua (el-Sebua) in Nubia – Tour Egypt