History : Jul-Aug 2019
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HISTORY 17 dam, built in 1902, had already flooded some of the monuments, including the temple complex of Philae. The new project further threatened this area, as well as scores of other sites, includ- ing the Abu Simbel complex near the Egypt- Sudan border. In 1960, the executive committee of UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) launched its Internation- al Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nu- bia, appealing for the help of its member states. Some 30 countries formed national committees—made up of research- ers, archaeologists, historians, en- gineers, and architects—to carry out the rescue mission. Following an aerial survey that identified the location of the archaeological areas most likely to be flooded, some 20 foreign delegations launched cam- paigns to safeguard the monuments. of Egypt’s president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, it would prevent destructive flooding, generate power, and boost agriculture in the region. The project, however, had major drawbacks. The creation of Lake Nasser, a 298-mile-long artificial reservoir upriver from the dam, and whose southern limits extend into Sudan, would require the resettlement of 90,000 people. The impact on the monuments that studded the Nu- bian region would also be catastrophic. A smaller 1980 One year after the successful re-grouping of the Philae temple complex on an island, UNESCO formally concludes its Nubia campaign. BRIDGEMAN/ACI UNDERWATER TEMPLES Trajan’s Kiosk, part of the temple complex of Philae, lies submerged in the 1970s. Even before the construction of the Aswan High Dam in 1960, Philae suffered repeated flooding from a dam built in 1902. Soon after this picture was taken, the complex was transferred to dry land on Agilkia. BRIDGEMAN/ACI STAMP ISSUED BY THE LIBYAN GOVERNMENT (BELOW) TO RAISE FUNDS FOR THE ENDANGERED NUBIAN MONUMENTS.