Site of two temples built by the Egyptian king Ramses II (reigned 1279–13 BCE), now located in Aswan muhafazah (governorate), southern Egypt. In ancient times the area was at the southern frontier of pharaonic Egypt, facing Nubia. The four colossal statues of Ramses in front of the main temple are spectacular examples of ancient Egyptian art. By means of a complex engineering feat in the 1960s, the temples were salvaged from the rising waters of the Nile River caused by erection of the Aswan High Dam.They were first explored in 1817 by the early Egyptologist Giovanni Battista Belzoni. The 66-foot (20-metre) seated figures of Ramses are set against the recessed face of the cliff, two on either side of the entrance to the main temple.