Saturday, March 17, 2018

Getting to Know the Nubians

Nubian Houses

In southern Egypt, there is a separate cultural group called the Nubians. Their civilization actually predates the Egyptian dynasties and at one time the Nubians ruled all of Egypt. While visiting the city of Aswan in southern Egypt we got to learn a little more about these interesting people.

When Egypt built it's massive dams on the Nile it was the Nubian People who most suffered. Over 200,000 people had to be moved and over 20 priceless archeological sites were threatened by the creation of Lake Nasser, the largest man made lake in the world. Some of the temples were rescued and moved, but the expense was so great that the only way it was accomplished was to donate other temples to the countries helping Egypt move the temples. Many minor sites were simple flooded and lost forever. I recall National Geographic doing a feature on the relocation of the
Boating up the NIle
Abu Simbel Temple, and was interested to learn that this was where it happened.

As part of our cruise ship tours, we visited the Philae temple which was moved from it's original island where it was partially submerged and rapidly deteriorating to a nearby island that was higher. This really was amazing to see. The temple was disassembled stone by stone, moved and rebuilt. Other than little metal pins used to identify the individual pieces, you cannot really tell it hasn't been on the island forever.

We also toured the Nubian Museum which gave a very detailed description of the history of these people including many photographs of the original temples prior to the flooding by Lake Nasser.
Waiting for Lunch

Finally we took a leisurely boat ride up the Nile through protected areas to a Nubian Village. They favour a unique style of domed houses that are built to remain cool in the 40ยบ+ temperatures in this southern region of Egypt. We stopped and had a delicious Nubian meal prepared as we waited overlooking the Nile. Their houses are brightly coloured Mud brick structures decorated with paintings all over the walls. Walking through the village you came across camels lying beside the road, or you might turn a corner to find a camel walking towards you.

Spending time finding out more about the Nubians was a pleasant way to end our cruise.

Lunch - Delicious!

Nubian Family Pet

Camel Parking Only

Spice Market