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The Colossi of Memnon

 The Colossi of Memnon is the largest remains of the funerary temple built for Amenhotep III on the left bank.

An obligatory stop for buses heading towards the Valley of the Kings, these statues deserve better than the “photo station” proposed (or imposed) by the guides

The Colossi of Memnon
The Colossi of Memnon , Luxor, Egypt

The Colossi of Memnon dimensions 

-according to the attached diagram- had nothing to envy to other buildings of the same kind. The choice of its location is a little curious because, during the floods of the Nile, it seemed to float on water. Some people see it as an allegory reminiscent of the primordial “Nan”, that is to say, the liquid mass from which the first gods and all life emerged, but who knows?

Measuring about 20m high, the colossuses, figures of Amenhotep III, framed the door of the entrance pylon of the temple. Their respective weight is estimated at 1300 tons. Amenhotep III is represented wearing the Nemes. If like me you had the chance to fly over them, you may have noticed a cavity on top of the Nemes. Egyptologists believe that another headdress – perhaps the Pschent, double crown – was inserted in it.

This profusion of crowns was very fashionable under Amenhotep III.

The king sits on a seat on the side of which is engraved in the “Sema Tawy” (Union of the Two Lands). Against his legs are the two women of his life: Mountemounia, and Tiyi.

The Colossi of Memnon
The Colossi of Memnon , Luxor , Egypt

If there is almost nothing left of the temple, it is because the site, already ruined by the earthquake of the year 27 A.C. was used as a quarry in the last century.

On the back of the giants, the king’s cartouche where you will read Neb Mâât Re, and also the mention “Sa Re” (son of Re) transcribed in hieroglyph by the duck (Sa) and the solar disk (Re), and many other things if you have good eyes …

For the record (but you probably already know it), the giants only have Memnon’s name. Nothing to do with Pharaoh! Strabon, a Greek historian and geographer, reports that the earthquake mentioned above caused cracks in the colossus, from the shoulder to the pelvis. From then on, at each sunrise, the northern statue began to make sounds. This phenomenon became the “oracle of Memnon” (a mythical king of Ethiopia, son of the Dawn), and led to pilgrimages for the Greeks and Romans of the time. Septimius Severus, in thanksgiving to Memnon, had the statues restored, and the ungrateful ones ceased to speak.