Aba Sambal, Or Abusimbel Ipsambul, a place in lower Nubia, on the left bank of the Nile, 30 m. S. W. of Derr, lat. 22° 22' N., Ion. 31° 40' E., remarkable for two of the most perfect and magnificent specimens of Egyptian rock-cut temples. Both have front walls of sandstone, and the interiors are excavated from the solid rock. The smaller temple, which Wilkinson thinks was dedicated to Athor, stands 20 ft. above the level of the Nile, and has a front of 90 ft. adorned with six gigantic statues. There is an interior hall of six square pillars, a transverse corridor with a small chamber at each extremity, and an asylum. The whole is apparently almost as perfect as it was when completed. Burckhardt saw and first described this temple of Isis, as he believed it to be, on March 22, 1813, and 200 ft. in the rear he discovered the heads of four colossal statues, the bodies of which were buried in sand. These he judged to belong to the finest period of Egyptian sculpture. The rear wall, covered with well executed hieroglyphics, displayed a figure of hawk-headed Osiris surmounted by a globe, and Burckhardt predicted that the clearing away of the sand would reveal a temple to that deity. In 1817 Belzoni, assisted by Capts. Irby and Mangles, removed 31 ft. of sand, when the top of the entrance was reached.

This second and larger temple, standing 100 ft. above the water level, has a front 120 ft. long and 90 ft. high, surrounded by a moulding, and adorned with a cornice and frieze. In front, seated on thrones, are four colossal figures 65 ft. high, the largest in Nubia or Egypt. The third statue from the north has been shattered by an avalanche from the mountain, and a portion of the head lies in the lap of the figure. One of these colossi has a face 7 ft. long and measures 25 ft. 4 in. across the shoulders. According to Wilkinson, the figures are statues of Rameses II. The interior presents first the colonnade, the pilasters of which bear figures of Osiris 30 ft. high, and the walls exhibit sculptures representing battles and triumphs. Next is the great hall extending 200 ft. into the rock, with ranges of massive square columns adorned with statues. Beyond are an antechamber and the sanctuary with several side chambers. In the background is a colossal figure seated on a bench, and there are similar statues in the side chambers. In the centre of the sanctuary is a pedestal on which Heeren thinks a sarcophagus once stood, and hence he argues that the monument was not a temple but the sepulchre of a king.

He believes, too, from the scenes of war and triumph sculptured on the walls, and especially from four painted figures, one of which in red he takes to be a king, that the smaller monument also Was a royal sepulchre. Burckhardt says that Ipsambul served as a refuge to the inhabitants of Beillany, 8 m. distant, against the annual incursions of a western tribe of Bedouins. In 1812, the year previous to his visit, the natives took refuge there with their cattle, and the Bedouins, after losing several men, failed to force the place.

Tomb, Ipsambul.

Tomb, Ipsambul.