Qasr Ibrim

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Ibrim, lay on the east bank of the Nile in Lower Nubia at a distance, by river, of approximately 238 Km or 148 miles north of Wadi Halfa…

The Pharaonic monuments at Ibrim come to be entirely and perennially submerged in mid-July 1966… … With so much cliff space available it is remarkable and, as we shall point out, probably not fortuitous that all the rock-cut shrines of the sites should be clustered together in one spot only, namely the south lower corner of the west- or- river face of the central cliff at Ibrim, the massive headland crowned by the ruined citadel. There the four shrines, inscribed and datable, were built in close spatial proximity in the course of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Dynasties within the compass of 250 years grosso modo, in the fifteenth and thirteenth centuries BC, under Hatshepsut, Tuthmosis III, Amenophis II, and Rameses II to be precise.

The four monuments which we call shrines 1, 2, 3, 4, have several significant features in common. In the first place they are extremely simple in design, each shrine consisting of a small single chamber hewn in the living rock, open to the west and overlooking the river. The facade consists simply of a narrow doorway surmounted with an engraved lintel and bounded by jambs which also bear inscriptions, except for the jambs of Shrine 3 which are blank. The inner chamber is in all cases rectangular in plan, with its long dimension perpendicular to the entrance, and with a flat and relatively low ceiling which one suspects was originally painted with coloured patterns in all four shrines. The walls are ornamented with texts and scenes in basso- and cavo-rilievo, all probably painted in antiquity, while the rear or east wall of the chamber is invariably occupied by a niche holding seated statues that face the entrance doorway. The four shrines are of rather modest size.

… The elements of decoration and writing extant in the Qasr Ibrim shrines fall, then, into two categories: (1) religious and (2) profane…
… Shrine 2 faces west, looks over the Nile, and is at a distance of 2,76 m. north of shrine 1. These two adjoining monuments have been subjected, with equally disastrous effects, to the complete submersion in the corrosive muddy waters of the Nile for the space of several months every year since the beginning of the present century.
Shrine 2 was built in the Nineteenth Dynasty professedly by the renowned viceroy of Kush, Setau, and therefore dated from the reign of Rameses II (c. 1290- 1224 BC) or more precisely from the latter half of that reign.

[From R. Caminos: “The Shrines and Rock-Inscriptions of Ibrim”, EES, London, 1968].