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Wadi El-Sebua

Where is Wadi El-Sabua located?

Wadi El-Sabua (also known as Wadi al-Sabua) is located in the southern part of Libya, in the Murzuq Desert.

It is situated approximately 200 km (124 miles) southwest of the city of Sabha and about 250 km (155 miles) south of the city of Sebha. The wadi stretches for about 110 km (68 miles) and is known for its unique rock formations and stunning landscapes.

Wadi es Sebua
Temple of Wadi el-Sebua Features

When was Wadi el-Sebou built?

Wadi el-Sebou (also known as Wadi al-Sabua) is a natural geographical feature, a dry river bed formed over thousands of years due to geological and climatic changes in the region. It was not “built” by humans but somewhat shaped by the forces of nature.

However, the area surrounding Wadi el-Sebou has a long history of human occupation, and there are archaeological sites in the region that date back to the prehistoric era. The room was also a significant trade route for the ancient trans-Saharan trade, and several caravanserais (resting places for traders and their camels) were built along the way.

A second monument was constructed during the reign of the active pharaoh, the inside of the temple was cut out of the rock and fronted by a stone pylon and monumental sculptures, while the outside was hewn from the rock.

There is an open court beyond the pylon with ten additional sculptures of the pharaoh, and beyond that, there is a 12-pillared hall and the sanctuary itself.

Once upon a time, relief representations of Ramses presenting sacrifices to Amun-Ra and Ra-Horakhty adorned the central niche of the temple.

As a result of the conversion to Christianity, the pagan reliefs were plastered over and painted with saints so that today, with a portion of the plaster crumbling away, Ramses II looks to be praising St Peter!

Wadi es Sebua
of Amenhotep III at Wadi el-Sebua in northern Nubia, about 150 km south of Aswan

The Temple of Dakka, located around 1km to the north, was built by the Upper Nubian Pharaoh Arkamani (218–200 BC) utilizing components from much older temples, and it was later modified by the Ptolemies and the Roman Emperor Augustus to become what it is today.

It was initially located 40 kilometers north of here and is devoted to the god of knowledge, Thoth. It is noteworthy for its 12-meter-high pylon, which you may climb to get spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding temples and monuments.

In its original location, the Temple of Maharraqa, the smallest of three temples on this site, was located 50 kilometers north of here at the ancient site of Offending.

Wadi es Sebua
Wadi El Sebua temple Aswan located about 140 kilometers south of the Aswan High Dam.

A tiny hypostyle hall with a typical spiral staircase of masonry leading up to the roof, dedicated to Isis and Serapis, the Alexandrian deity, was never completed, and all that is left is a small hypostyle hall with a typical spiral staircase of masonry leading up to the roof in the northeast corner.

On the west bank of the Nile, approximately 140 kilometers south of the new Aswan Dam, is where you’ll find El Sebuah.

Wadi el Sebua, Wadi El-Sebua
Aswan High Dam, Arabic Al-Sadd al-ʿĀlī, rock-fill dam across the Nile River at Aswān

Two Egyptian temples were built in this area during the construction of the High Dam in the 1960s: one was a temple for King Ramesses II, which was relocated to a new location a few kilometers to the north-west, and the other was an earlier temple of King Amenhotep III, which was left in its original location and is now submerged under Lake Nasser.

Both temples were partially carved into the surrounding rock and partially stood as freestanding structures.
The temple that was built by Amenhotep III was initially devoted to a Nubian variant of the god Horus, but it was later rededicated to the god Amun.
It had been damaged during the Amarna period, but King Ramesses II had it reconstructed.

Ramesses’ personal temple was constructed in honor of the gods Amun-Ra and Rahorakhty. It included a sphinx-lined approach that led to a sequence of three pylons, and it featured the colossi of the king in front of the stone pylon that was left standing.

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About the author

Magdy Fattouh (Migo) is a creative content marketer and expert in search engines for over 5 years. He manifests his passion in his role as a Creative Content Writer especially in travel where he strives to evoke a strong sense of place in his write-ups.