National Geographic : 1966 May
Finding these relics spurred the instincts of treasure hunters. One of the Nubians on the site, a dark, fine-featured workman, con fessed to me, "Never would I take a job at the High Dam; but Abu Simbel, that's something else again." No one could fool him; he knew exactly why men and machines were driving into the cliff. He intended to be there when the gold hoard was brought to light. He had to shout his confession above the noise of the pneu matic hammers; obviously, he would have preferred to whisper it. Even Pino Lucano's fellow countrymen, the marmisti, stonecutters from northern Italy's marble quarries, cling to dreams of finding treasure-"a mummy, a scarab, any thing," as one said to me almost pleadingly. The engineers, however, are too busy to give the possibility of treasure much thought. Diether Fuchs, superintendent of the civil engineering works, reviewing Phases 1 and 2 with me, said: "I do not think that manage ment at any other construction site has ever had to coordinate so many operations. On some days we have several hundred opera tions going at the same time. And everything, of course, is complicated by the multiplicity 735 EKTACHROMEBY GEORGGERSTER Lesson in Egyptology: Resident archeologist Dr. Anwar Shoukry explains to Stefan Lindstrom, a Swedish engineer's son, an inscription in the cliff near the Great Temple. The stela, showing Rames ses' viceroy Setau, proclaims the sovereign's might in the 3 8th year of his reign. "Watchers for the dawn," sacred baboons squat in a storage area, awaiting return to a high perch above the entrance of the reconstructed temple. Gauze bandages cover the feet of painted figures on pillars from the Great Temple. Wrapping pre vents brittle edges from crumbling away.