Here is some incredibly rare footage of life on board a Nile cruise dating from the early 1960s and was filmed just before the construction of the Aswan High Dam. It shows how tourists literally stepped off the boat onto the clay banks of the Nile when visiting the Temples at Kom Ombo and shows the boat moored up close to Abu Simbel, before the temples were re-located.
Click here for the film.
When the High Dam was being constructed in the early 1960s, the main archaeological sites in the area were rescued from the rising waters of the Nile thanks to the international campaign launched by UNESCO, in 1960 to 1980. The most famous of the monuments affected by the Aswan High Dam Project were the temple complex on the island of Philae and the Temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel.
With three exceptions (the temple of Gerf Husein, the chapels of Qasr Ibrim and the temple of Abu Oda), the monuments were dismantled, carved up and moved to another site. They were reassembled in six groups:
- the temples of Abu Simbel in situ but 60m above their original site
- the temples of Philae island on the island of Agilkia near the former Aswan dam