The River Nile and flooded temples at Philae, Egypt, c 1900.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Flooded landscape with Ancient Egyptian temples, from a series of photographs showing the building of the Aswan Dam. In the late 19th century, the decision to was made to build a dam acros the river at Aswan to both improve control of the masive annual Nile floods for agriculture and provide hydro-electric power for industry. The dam was built by the British who employed some of their foremost engineers, including Willcocks, Baker and Aird. Many temples and other buildings where flooded during the construction of the dam which was completed in 1902, with modifications to its height made in 1907-1912 and 1929-1934. Even after this the dam ultimately proved inadequate for its purpose, leading to the building of the much larger Aswan High Dam in the 1960s.