'The Smaller Temple at Philae', 1859.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A stereoscopic photograph of the small temple of Hathor seen beyond palm trees on the island of Philae, Aswan, Egypt, taken in 1859 by Francis Frith (1822-1898). This image is one of a series of one hundred stereoscopic photographs taken by Frith for Negretti and Zambra and published in 1862 in a book entitled 'Egypt, Nubia and Ethiopia Illustrated'. The temple to the Egyptian goddess Hathor, mother of Horus, was begun during the reign of Ptolemy VI Philometer [180-145BC] and added to during subsequent 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 photo