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ABU SIMBEL Temple History of Egypt Silver Plated Coin 1$ Cook Islands 2012


Egypt not only reflects an eventful recent history but is considered to be one of the first ever advanced civilisations of mankind. Even over 3‘000 years ago, Egyptian architects built the most beautiful buildings and craftsmen produced the finest statues, masks and pieces of jewellery. With this series, we would like to bring this incomparable culture and its treasures nearer to you.

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Abu Simbel is an archaeological site comprising two massive rock temples in southern Egypt along the Nile about 290 km southwest of Aswan. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of "Nubian Monuments" which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae.
The Great Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel consists of four seated colossal statues of Ramses II carved into the mountain, forming one of the boldest temple facades in the world. It is aligned so the sun's rays travel through the mountain and illuminate Ramses' sanctuary twice a year, on October 22 and February 22.
Construction of the temple complex started in approximately 1284 BC and lasted for about 20 years. Known as the "Temple of Ramesses, beloved by Amun", it was one of six rock temples erected in Nubia during the long reign of Ramesses. Their purpose was to impress Egypt's southern neighbors, and also to reinforce the status of Egyptian religion in the region.
With the passing of time, the temples were covered in sand. Already in the 6th century BC, the sand covered the statues of the main temple up to their knees. The temple was forgotten until 1813, when Swiss orientalist J.L. Burckhardt found the top frieze of the main temple. Burckhardt talked about his discovery with Italian explorer Giovanni Belzoni, who travelled to the site, unable to dig out an entry to the temple. Belzoni returned in 1817, this time succeeding in his attempt to enter the complex. He took everything valuable and portable with him.
In 1959 an international donations campaign to save the monuments of Nubia began: the southernmost relics of this ancient human civilization were under threat from the rising waters of the Nile that were about to result from the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
The salvage of the Abu Simbel temples began in 1964, and cost some USD $80 million. Between 1964 and 1968, the entire site was cut into large blocks, dismantled and reassembled in a new location – 65 m higher and 200 m back from the river, in what many consider one of the greatest feats of archaeological engineering. A similar project was undertaken at the island of Philae downriver.
Today, thousands of tourists visit the temples daily. Guarded convoys of buses and cars depart twice a day from Aswan, the nearest city. Many visitors also arrive by plane, at an airfield that was specially constructed for the temple complex.

  • CountryCook Islands
  • Year2012
  • Face Value1 Dollar
  • MetalCupronickel, Silver
  • Weight (g)27
  • Diameter (mm)38.61
  • QualityProoflike
  • Mintage (pcs)5.000
  • Certificate (COA)No
  • Presentation case (box)No
The coin reverse depics the Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel, generally considered the grandest and most beautiful of the temples commissioned during the reign of Ramses II, and one of the most beautiful in Egypt. The temple is decorated by pad-printing technique which hightlight the facade guarded by four statues. Issued as Tokelau Islands legal tender, the coin’s obverse depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the monetary denomination.