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Kalabsha temple


Originally located some 50km south of the present High Dam at Aswan,the temple of Kalabsha ancient Talmis,was dismantled in 1962-63 and its 13,000 blocks moved to a higher site just south of the new dam (New Kalabsha).The largest free standing temple of lower Nubia,the structure was built in the reign of the last Ptolemis and Augustus (though a temple may have stood on its site as early as New Kingdom times)and dedicated To the Nubian god Horus-Mandulis and to Isis and Osiris. Although never completed,Kalabsha is regarded as one of the finest examples of Egyptian architecture in Nubia.The temple was constructed entirely of sandstone and its interior skillfully decorated considering the difficulty of accomplishing fine work in this stone.It also contains several later inscriptions of historical interest, including one of the local king Silko which describes in untutored Greek,his victory over nomadic tribes who threatened the area in the 5th century AD. The granite gate of the temple, which was found during the dismantling operations, was moved to the Agyptisches museum in Berlin. This led to the pylon (which,oddly,was turned at somewhat of an angle from the rest of the structure),a peristyle court and then a hypostyle followed by three inner, twin –columned rooms-the innermost of which functioned as the sanctuary, later used as a Christian church. As in many temples of the Ptolemic period, gates at the sides of the hypostyle opened to an enclosed space which surrounded the inner part of the structure. Beyond this area, the temple precinct also enclosed a small birth house and an independent chapel which seems to have been constructed by Ptolemy IX.