'The Columns of Amunothph III at Soleb - Ethiopia', 1859.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A stereoscopic photograph of ruined columns at the temple of Soleb, Northern Sudan, 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 columns are of a closed papyrus type, with a ribbed shaft representing bundles of papyrus reed with buds at the top. The temple at Soleb was built to mark the jubilee of the pharaoh Amenhotep III (1382-1344). Dedicated to the god Amon, it was built of soft sandstone that has become damaged over the years by heavy rains. 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 L