Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Free the Nile!

To control the flooding of Egypt by the Nile every year, the Egyptian government and Russia built the 2nd largest dam in the world, right here in Aswan, Egypt. It holds back a reservoir of 180 billion meters cubed of water. That's quite a lot of water. If the dam broke, I think Cairo would be destroyed. I think the result would be like a Tsunami. They've also set up power turbines in this to provide for the lower half of Egypt. That's pretty efficient and sweet. The guide said today that the largest dam is in China.

It's called the Aswan High Dam and the reservoir is called Lake Nasser.

When they built the dam and the lake depth grew an immense amount, many of the temples that were in the area went underwater. One of these temples, called the Philae Temple or Isis Temple, was underwater for 20 years before the government had enough funding to dig it out and move it to an island nearby above ground. And when they did it, they chopped the temple up block by block, moved it 500 yards to the side, then put it back together.

Isis is the goddess of love, so this temple is about her. I got to see this temple today. It's hard to tell what damage came from underwater and what happened naturally over time and what was destroyed by Christians that didn't like the temple when they entered the area.

The temple was not in terrible condition considering the circumstances. And it wasn't crowded so that was a nice change. The tour guide was this uptight woman with a shrieky voice though, so I had a tough time keeping my mind on the subject.

I took some pictures of the dam, reservoir, and power plant area today as well.


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