Colossi of Memnon, Luxor

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  • Colossi of Memnon
    Colossi of Memnon
    by RavensWing
  • Colossi of Memnon
    by June.b
  • Colossi of Memnon
    by June.b
  • mary2u99's Profile Photo

    Colossi of Memnon

    by mary2u99 Updated May 12, 2007

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    Colossi of Memnon
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    The only remnants of a temple commemorating Amenhotep III, these statues are 19.20 meters high.

    The Greeks named them after Memnon, the legendary hero killed at the Trojan Wars, who each morning called his mother Eos, the Dawn goddess.

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    Colossi of Memnon

    by Kaysta Written Apr 4, 2007

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    These statues are absolutely beautiful and very grand. Whilst driving down the road you cannot fail to see this Colossi. Unfortunately, they were knocked down during in earth quake in 27 BC and were re-built. They are situated on the West Bank of Luxor and are approximately 19.6 Metres in height. They once stood proud at the enterance of the Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III.

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    The Singing Statues

    by Beograd Updated Jan 29, 2007

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    Colossi of Memnon

    These two statues represent Amenophis III, and they are all that's left from the biggest temple in the New Kingdome. Initially, they used to make very nice sounds thanks to wind, but later, when some cracks were found on them and repaired, they never produced music again. Still, they are beautiful and enormous.

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    Colosi Of Memnon

    by kentishgirl Updated Jan 19, 2007

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    Colosi Of Memnon


    These two huge statues guard what once was a mortuary temple. The Statues are huge and very impressive, unfortunatly they were crumbling a bit, but nontheless they were well worth a stop at.

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    Colossi of Memnon

    by miman Written Jul 19, 2006

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    he Colossi of Memnon are two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. For the past 3400 years they have stood in the Theban necropolis .
    The twin statues depict Amenhotep III (fl. 14th century BC) in a seated position, his hands resting on his knees and his gaze turned eastward toward the river and the rising sun. Two shorter figures are carved into the front throne alongside his legs: these are his wife Tiy and mother Mutemwiya. The original function of the Colossi was to stand guard at the entrance to Amenhotep's memorial temple (or mortuary temple): a massive cult centre built during the pharaoh's lifetime, where he was worshipped as a god-on-earth both before and after his departure from this world.

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    Colossi of Menmon

    by sswagner Written Jul 15, 2006

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    The Colossi of Menmon

    As one crosses into the West Bank of the Nile and enters Ancient Thebes, these statues become visible. There is a parking area just prior to them, and no admission is charged. The statues are gigantic, so you cannot miss them.

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    Colossi of Memnon

    by Innovator Written Jun 5, 2006

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    Amenhotep III (18th Dynasty) built a mortuary temple in Thebes that was guarded by two gigantic statues on the outer gates. All that remains now are the 23 meter (75 ft) high, one thousand ton statues of Amenhotep III. Though damaged by nature and ancient tourists, the statues are still impressive.

    Ancient Egyptians called the southern of the two statues "Ruler of Rulers". Later travelers called them "Shammy and "Tammy", which may have been a corruption of the Arabic words for "left" and "right". Today they are known locally as "el-Colossat", or "es-Salamat". The statues are made from carved blocks of quartzite quarried either at Giza or Gebel es-Silsila. The Northern statue depicts Amenhotep III with his mother, Mutemwia, while the southern statue is of Amenhotep III with his wife, Tiy and one of his daughters. On the sides of the statues are reliefs depicting Nile gods joining together plants symbolizing Upper and Lower Egypt.

    Due to an earthquake in 27 BC, these statues became known for a bell like tone that usually occurred in the morning due to rising temperatures and humidity. Thus they were equated by the early Greek travelers with the figure of Memnon, the son of Aurora who's mother, Eos, was the goddess of dawn. To be granted a song meant that you were very much in favor of the gods. Visitors came from miles around to hear the music, including Emperor Hadrian, in 130 A.D. The Roman emperor Septimius Severus, seeking to repair the statues in 199 AD, inadvertently silenced them forever.

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    The Colossi of Memnon

    by Myndo Updated Apr 14, 2006

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    Memnon Colossus

    Actually the name "Colossi of Memnon" is a mistake, but since the old greeks and romans already made that mistake, it was carried on until today.

    The two colossal statues (they used to be 21m high, now without crown they are "only" 19m), are portraying the King Amenophis II (reigning around 1400 v.Chr.) and were protecting his death temple that was soon destroyed after his death.
    The Greeks that visited the country only saw the two statues and believed they showed Memnon, the King of Afghanistan from the Trojan War.

    The two colossi became one of the earliest tourist attractions when -after an earthquake - the northern one of them began to make sounds in the morning.
    It was said to be the voice of Memnon greeting his mother, the godess of morning Eos.
    Actually it was rather the air that expanded in the stone when the first sunlight warmed it. But the effect was really amazing and many historicans (including Herodot) wrote about it.

    In the early 3rd century a.c. the roman Emperor Severus Septimus visited the statues also. He was very impressed and ordered the broken statues to be restored.
    -from that day on, the Colossus was silent.

    If you have the time, have a look at the lower part of the northern statue (the right one if you stand in front of it). There are some nice inscriptions there from old visitors.

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    Remains of a Vanished Temple

    by atufft Written Apr 10, 2006

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    Colossi of Memnon in Morning
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    The Colossi of Memnon once stood at the entrance to a great temple that by the time the Greeks and Romans arrived as tourists was already in ruins. Agricultural fields now stand around the monuments. This is a good quick stop in the morning and/or evening enroute to/from Valley of the Kings or other West Bank treasures. One of the Memnon Statues is more heaviliy restored than the other, as seen in these photos.

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    Colossi of Memnon

    by Diana75 Updated Mar 2, 2006

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    Colossi of Memnon
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    Colossi of Memnon are two huge statues of Amenhotep III which were originally placed in front of the mortuary temple of the king.

    The temple was destroyed throughout the centuries, but it is said that it was built of white sandstone, gold and silver.

    The statues show Amenhotep seated on his throne with the two Nile gods of upper and lower Egypt uniting the two lands, at his sides.

    It is also interesting to know that on the right of each statue appears a small figure of Queen Tiye, wife of Amenhotep III and on the left Queen Mutemua, his mother.

    The Colossi are made of sandstone.

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    Collossi at Memnon

    by Tayto Written Oct 7, 2005

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    Talking Statues
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    The Colossi of Memnon are of Amenhotep III and they stood guard at what was a large temple complex. The Statues are about 18 metres tall and show Amenhotep seated, facing towards the Nile and the rising sun. The statues are sandstone and as they were built on the old floodplane of the Nile they are eroded both from the rising river and the desert sandstorms over the centuaries. The statues also have smaller statues of Tiy his wife and his mother Mutemwia at his feet.. On the panels there are carvings devoted to the god Hapy.
    Very little remains of the Amenhotep’s temple and much of the stone was probably used in local building or taken by subsequent rulers in constructing their own tmples.. The temple was far bigger than the one at Karnak and would have been in use both during his life time and as a mortuary temple on his death.
    An interesting story surrounds the Colossi whereby following an earthquake in 27BC the top half of one of the statues fell off. At dawn the statue was reported to ‘whisper’ or ‘sing’ and it drew people from all over the known world including Roman Emporers to visit the statues to hear the oracle ‘speak’ . The cause of the sound was most likely water apsorbed by the porous rock at night and then making noise as it evaporated in the heat of the early morning sun. The sounds from the statue ceased toward the end of the 3rd centuary AD and the Emperor Severus ordered that the statue be restored in an effort to appease the gods.

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  • IN THE LAND OF GAINTS

    by stemc Written Sep 27, 2005
    tiny little people

    The Colossi of Memon are gigantic seated statues all that is left of the mortuary temple of Amenophis 111 one of the statues in ancient times use to let out a eerie sound when the morning sun fell up on him but restoration in roman times put a end to this
    (while we were here Italian archaeologist found up 700 burial tombs on the site)

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  • co48's Profile Photo

    Colossi of Memnon, solitary guards

    by co48 Written Sep 6, 2005

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    Colossi of Memmon

    When you cross the Nile to the westbank, the Colossi of Memnon are the first monuments you will see. The massive Colossi of Memnon, made of yellow-brown sandstone are 17,9M high. Once they were 21 M with crowns.

    The statues of king Amenophis, son of Hapoe, are crownless and faceless nowadays. if you have a good look, you can see at the base of the left colos Teje, the wife of the king and Moetemoeja the mother of the king.

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  • viddra's Profile Photo

    The Memnon Statues 2

    by viddra Updated Jun 16, 2005

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    a statue

    While the big guy (18m) is sitting, his mother Mutemuia and his wife Tiy, much smaller in size, are standing beside his legs.
    The throne bears the royal names and titles in large hieroglyphs and is decorated with the symbolic unification of Upper and Lower Egypt.

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    The Memnon Statues 1

    by viddra Updated Jun 16, 2005

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    3rd colossus?

    This pair of statues is all that remains of the funerary temple of Amenhotep III.
    The right statue represents Amenhotep III, and the left 1 represents, who else but, Amenhotep III. Each giant was sculpted in a single piece of stone.
    The Greeks recognised their hero Memnon in these statues, and that's why they're now known as the Memnon Colossi.

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