THE Title Vignette  represents a portion of the sculpture above the entrance to the Great Temple of Aboo-Simbel. In a recess over the door stands a well-formed figure of Osiris, twenty feet high, symbolised by the hawk’s head, a form sacred to the sun; the head is surmounted by the solar disc, and in its front is the asp, the emblem of sovereignty; his arms are placed straight on his sides, and the sacred tau, the emblem of eternal life, is held in each hand: beneath that in his right is the head of a terminal wolf, and under the left a small statue of Truth. On either side of the niche in which is the statue of Osiris are figures cut in the face of the rock, in incised relief; they represent Remeses II., offering the emblem of truth to the god. On the plinth beneath are cut a row of the cartouches of Remeses II., each supported by crowned asps, like the the supporters of heraldic shields.

    Below is seen the lintel of the doorway, and under it the opening which had been made by the removal of the sand through which the entrance was effected.

    For the latest excavations here, as well as for many important discoveries in Egypt and Nubia, the public are indebted to Mr. Hay: he had the sand so far removed as to disclose entirely the two colossi on the south side of the door, together with the doorway down to its base, and now nine or ten Nubians can remove the sand in a few hours which may fall in, and give ready access to the temple, of which the whole height of the façade is shewn. In doing this, he  also exposed to view a curious Greek inscription of the Ionian and Carian soldiers of Psamaticus, as well as some interesting hieroglyphical tablets. The inscription, which remarkably confirms the account by Herodotus, appears to have been written by the troops sent by the Egyptian king after the deserters who are reported by the Greek historian to have left the service of Psamaticus; the desertion was said to be of an army of two hundred and forty thousand men! They had been stationed at Elephantine, to protect the country from the Ethiopians: .... and having been kept three whole years in garrison without being relieved, they resolved with one accord to desert their king and go over to the Ethiopians. Psamaticus pursued them, and endeavoured to bring them back by entreating that they would not desert their country, their gods, and their families; but they were deaf to his arguments; they entered Ethiopia, gave themselves up as subjects to the king, settled there, and carried with them those customs of the Egyptians which tended to civilise the natives of their adopted country. The account is exceedingly interesting, and will be found, together with the inscription, copied and translated in Wilkinson’s “Egypt and Thebes.”


        Dr. Robertsons’s Travels.                    Wilkinson’s Egypt and Thebes.