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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 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 the remnants of their kingdom.

If that’s the case, I imagine it’s with a keen sense of loss. And a sort of loneliness as they sit apart from each other, forever divided by the visitors who throng during the day but disappear at night.

I certainly felt saddened by these ancient beings, thousands of years on me, just weathering away. But it’s sort of peaceful too, but filled with melancholy.

Single memnon statue, Colossi of Memnon

They say the name came from visiting Greeks.

One of the statues was damaged after an earthquake and began “singing” at dawn. For 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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