IM05068

The Temple of Derr, like many others in Nubia, was dismantled in 1964 in order to save it from the waters of Lake Nasser. It was moved to a new location close to that of the temple of Amada from its original site on the Nile's east bank a few miles to the south about 208 KM south of Aswan. This is another example of Ramesses II's rock hewn temples, built during about the 30th year of his reign to celebrate his Sed festival. This temple is similar in many respects to his other speos style monuments in Nubia, including Abu Simbel.

The ancient Egyptians named it "Temple of Ramses-in-the-House-of-Re", it was dedicated to go Petah and god Amon as well as Ramses II as a deified person. However, unlike many of his best known temples in Nubia, which were built, it would seem, primarily as a display of his power, often in remote areas where little actual priestly activity took place, this one was built in apparently a much more populated region.

Also, like other rock hewn Nubian temples, some of the temple's decorations were lost due to its use as a church by early Christians. However, a number of scenes remain, including one depicting a procession of his children with girls on one side of the temple and boys on the other, a theme used often by Ramesses II.

Where the reliefs are preserved, the paint is often vivid. Nothing has remained of the pylon that must have stood in front of the temple, or the forecourt from which the temple was probably approached. What remains of the temple that was cut into a cliff, and today it basically consists of two pillared halls and the rear sanctuaries, all oriented north-south. We do know that Both halls are mostly square.

The first, cut into the rock, but possibly using masonry for roofing slabs, measures about fifteen by twelve meters and has three rows of four pillars. The third row consists of engaged Osiride Pillars of Ramesses II that are larger than the others. This is a typical theme in many of his Nubian temples, though here, the arrangement does not conform to the usual one, where the pillars and adjoining statues face the central axis of the temple, but instead face the entrance.

In this first hall, low relief scenes on the side walls cover topics of war, whereas on the rear wall there are scenes of triumph. The second hall follows the axis of the temple and measures twelve by thirteen meters and is five meters high.

It contains six, tapered pillars mounted on projecting bases and surmounted by transverse architrave. Here, the process of laying out the plan and the low relief work was carried out very inaccurately. The ceiling is was covered with stucco and then painted with a series of vultures along the center axis.

Along the upper part of the walls runs a frieze of uraei alternating with the royal cartouche of Ramesses II. Lower on the walls are scenes of a religious motif, including Ramesses II's jubilees, his purification and the reception of the bark. Other scenes depict Shu, Tefnut and Montu. On the sides of the pillars are depictions of Pharaoh and a deity, including Weret-hekau, Menhit, Ptah and Amun-Re.