The Amada Temple in Nubia

Despite its diminutive size, the Amada Temple in Nubia contains some historically important writings and is the earliest of the Lake Nasser temples. One engraved on a stela on the sanctuary’s back wall in the third year of Amenhotep II, for example, recalls an Egyptian military foray into Asia and his bringing back the remains of rebel chieftains to place on the walls of Thebes and on the prow of his ship traveling through Nubia as a reminder. Another depicts a Libyan conquest of Egypt in the fourth year of Merenptah, Ramesses II’s son, on a stela on the northern side of the entry doorway.

Amada Temple in Nubia contains some historically important writings and is the earliest of the Lake Nasser temples. was dedicated to the great New Kingdom gods Amun-Re and Re-Horakhty and is situated about 180 kilometres south of the High Dam. It was constructed on Tuthmosis III’s and his son Amenhotep II’s instructions during Egypt’s New Kingdom 18th Dynasty. Tuthmosis IV added the hypostyle hall afterward. Along with other 19th Dynasty kings, including his son, Ramesses II, who seems to have been connected in some manner with practically every Nubian temple completed prior to his reign, Seti I had a hand in some little additions, such as a tall pylon with a sandstone doorway abutting against the hypostyle hall.

However, Ramesses II’s renovation of the temple has been criticized as a shoddy job, involving the participation of inexperienced local painters. During his reign, Ramesses II also constructed a number of his own temples to the Nubian landscape.

Temple Floor Plans

Between 1964 and 1975, the temple was transferred; together with the neighboring Temple of Derr, to a new; area some 2.5 kilometres from its original site; owing to increasing waters of Lake Nasser during the completion of the High Aswan Dam.

The temple comprises of a court with a brick wall and proto-Doric columns forming a back portico; which retains most of its painted relief work featuring polychrome ornaments. Tuthmosis IV expanded it by erecting twelve pillars in four longitudinal rows in front of the four columns, with inter-columnar partitions between the outer pillars; changing the court into a pillared hall. The sandstone temple core features a shallow transverse hall with crowning scenes and a deep offering hall connected on either side to a modest cult statue sanctuary for Re-Horakhty (south) and Amun-Re (north) (north).

Description

The painted reliefs within the temple are extremely intriguing; notably one section where Tuthmosis III worships Amun-Re in an upper register; which is then harmonized by a lower register of a similar pattern in which Amenhotep II worships Re-Horakhty in the same symbolic theme. Sadly, Tuthmosis IV; also known as Akhenaten; the heretic monarch who defied religious tradition in order to glorify Aten; had eroded images of Amun. Ramesses II had repaired these images; but they were of lesser quality. Also, like many other Nubian temples; the early Christians converted the edifice into a church with a dome; causing further damage.

When these same Christians painted over many of the reliefs, however; they actually preserved many of them; leaving these pictures some of the best that can be found in any Nubian temple.

Apart from the original reliefs; there is also noteworthy graffiti dating from the 19th Dynasty that includes depictions of the viceroy of Nubia; Messuy, with the royal uraeus placed to the viceroy’s brow. Other, more recent graffiti displayed on the temple front includes primitive depictions of camels that are said to have been created by; Bedouins or tourists throughout the Middle Ages.