'Temples on the Island of Philae - Entrance', 1859.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A stereoscopic photograph of the pylons or monumental entrance to the Temple of Isis on the Island of Philae, Aswan, Egypt, taken in 1859 by Francis Frith (1822-1898). One of a hundred stereoscopic photographs taken by Francis Frith for Messrs Negretti and Zambra, published in 1862 in a book entitled 'Egypt, Nubia and Ethiopia Illustrated'. The main temple at Philae was dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis. Most of the building dates from the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Between 1972 and 1980 the temples on Philae had to be dismantled and moved to the island of Agilika because of the construction of the Aswan High Dam. Francis Frith was a pioneer of travel photography. He was also one of photography's greatest entrepreneurs, founding a company that was to become the largest publisher of photographs in the world. Frith saw himself as a romantic adventurer in the mould of Byron. Between 1856 and 1860 he travelled and photographed extensively in Egypt and the Holy Land. His work was