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The temple was originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari. The relocation of the temples was necessary to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan dam on the Nile River.The salvage of the Abu Simbel temples began in 1964, and cost some USD $40 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.

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