The countdown to the Solar Alignment Phenomenon in Abu Simbel begins, where the sunlight aligns on the face of King Ramses II’s seated statue in the Holy of Holies room in the Ramses II Temple which features four large statues.
Abdel Moneim Saeed, Director General of Aswan and Nubia Antiquities, confirmed that with the approaching date of the natural phenomenon, the Aswan and Nubia antiquities area is preparing to hold a special international music concert.
Due to the current circumstances with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, however, no in-person attendance will be allowed in the event. Further details will be announced after the completion of the necessary procedures.
The temple’s unique feature relating to the Solar Alignment was created by the Ancient Egyptians inside the temples of Abu Simbel, and allows for the sun’s rays to fall on two of the statues in the Holy of Holies room. This feature was constructed based on a unique astronomical phenomenon that takes place twice every year, on 22 February and 22 October.
In a statement, Saeed said that the archaeological area is continuing to prepare for the Solar Alignment at the Holy of Holies in Abu Simbel, through the formation of a team of archaeologists and restoration specialists.
The team will undertake the necessary maintenance and restoration of the temple’s façade, fixing the colours, conducting mechanical and chemical cleaning, and completing the remaining periodic maintenance to preserve the temple’s lustre.
This comes in addition to increasing the “landscape” area, developing a lighting system inside and outside the temples, and maintaining the required aspects inside the concrete dome to reduce the humidity and heat inside the two temples.