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Colossi of Memnon, Luxor

This post is part of the collection from Classic Egypt – a trip up the Nile

Colossi of Memnon, Luxor, Egypt

The Colossi of Memnon, a pair of statues depicting Amenhotep III, were thought to have once been part of the Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III. With no sign of the mortuary temple now and no buildings nearby, they look rather like a pair of ancient rulers sitting, and watching, silently over their kingdom.

If that’s the case, I imagine it’s with a keen sense of loss with the passing of time. And a sort of loneliness as they sit aside from each other. I certainly feel saddened that these ancient beings, thousands of years on me, are just weathering away with little we can do. But it’s sort of peaceful too.

Single memnon statue, Colossi of Memnon

They say that the name came from visiting Greeks. One of the statues was damaged after an earthquake and began “singing” at dawn. For the foreign visitors, this sounded like the roar of Agamemnon. After reparation efforts by the Romans, the statue no longer “sang” but the name stuck.

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