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Colossi of Memnon

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The Colossi of Memnon are two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, located on the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor, Egypt. Situated near the modern town of Kom Ombo, on the west bank of the Nile River, opposite the city of Luxor. They stand in what was once the Theban necropolis, the burial site for many ancient Egyptian pharaohs and nobles. We will discover in this article why it's one of the most attracting monuments you will meet in your Egypt Travel Package.

Description of the Colossi of menmon



Each statue originally stood about 18 meters (60 feet) tall, although today they are slightly shorter due to damage and erosion.   



The statues are made of quartzite sandstone, which was quarried at Gebel el-Silsila, south of modern-day Cairo.


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Purpose of Building the Colossi of Memnon:


Guardians of the Temple: 

The Colossi of Memnon were intended to serve as monumental guardians at the entrance of the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III. This temple complex was dedicated to the worship of the pharaoh during his lifetime and after his death.


Symbol of Royal Power: 

As colossal statues of the pharaoh, the Colossi of Memnon were meant to convey the divine and eternal nature of the pharaoh's rule. They stood as symbols of his power and authority, visible from afar and awe-inspiring to those who approached the temple.


Religious Significance: 

The temple complex where the Colossi stood was a place of ritual and religious ceremonies conducted by priests to honor Amenhotep III and ensure his continued divine favor in the afterlife.



Like many other monumental statues and temples of ancient Egypt, the Colossi of Memnon were built to ensure the pharaoh's eternal presence in the afterlife and to perpetuate his memory among the living.



Mythological Association:


In ancient Greek and Roman times, the Colossi of Memnon became famous for the "vocalizations" or sounds they produced at dawn. These sounds were attributed to the statue "singing" to greet the morning sun. This phenomenon was likely due to the statue's structure and the effects of the morning dew evaporating from its surface, causing vibrations that produced sound. The Greeks associated the statues with Memnon, a legendary Ethiopian king and son of Eos, the goddess of dawn.


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Why Colossi of Memnon Were Not Completed?


The Colossi of Memnon themselves were completed as statues and erected during Amenhotep III's reign (circa 1350 BC). However, the mortuary temple complex that they guarded, along with other parts of Amenhotep III's vast construction projects, suffered from damage and subsequent looting over the millennia. The reasons for the incompleteness or deterioration of parts of the temple complex are primarily due to:


Natural Factors: 

Erosion and weathering over thousands of years have taken a toll on the structures.


Ancient Looting: 

Some parts of the temple complex were dismantled and reused in later constructions during the New Kingdom and subsequent periods.



The region is prone to earthquakes, which could have damaged the structures over time.




Photographic Opportunities:


The Colossi of Memnon provide stunning photographic opportunities, especially during sunrise and sunset when the warm light bathes the statues in a golden hue. The picturesque setting against the backdrop of the Nile River and the Theban Mountains adds to their allure. That's why you will find crowds there standing for the beauty of colossi of menmon.


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