Explore the fascinating history and mysteries surrounding the Colossi of Memnon in Luxor, Egypt, one of the most renowned pharaonic monuments. Discover the reasons behind its construction, the ancient myths surrounding it, and the secrets of the pharaohs who built it. By visiting this iconic site, you can learn more about the ancient Egyptian civilization and the pharaohs who ruled over it. The Colossi of Memnon are located in the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III, a legendary pharaoh who reigned from 1391-1353 BC. These two magnificent statues were built in 1351 BC with symmetrical precision, showcasing the power and grandeur of ancient Egypt.
The Colossi of Memnon:
What does the Colossi of Memnon represent? Why is the Colossi of Memnon important? When did Giant Memnon stop singing? What happened to the Colossi of Memnon?Who is the king depicted in Colossi of Memnon? Where was the Colossi of Memnon found?
Who is the king depicted in Colossi of Memnon?
The king depicted in the Colossi of Memnon is Amenhotep III, who was a pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt. The statues were built during his reign, which lasted from about 1386 BC to 1353 BC, and were originally placed at the entrance of his mortuary temple in Thebes (modern-day Luxor). The Colossi of Memnon are among the largest and most impressive statues from ancient Egypt, and they continue to attract visitors from around the world today.
Why do these two colossi bear the name Colossi of Memnon?
The two colossi bear the name «Colossi of Memnon» because of a popular ancient Greek legend. According to the legend, Memnon was a king of Ethiopia who led an army to fight in the Trojan War. After Memnon was killed by the Greek hero Achilles, his mother, Eos (the goddess of dawn), wept tears of mourning every morning. The legend says that the statues produced a mysterious sound at dawn, which was believed to be the sound of Eos weeping for her son. The Greeks thought that the sound was coming from the statues, and thus they named them the «Colossi of Memnon» after the legendary king. The sound was most likely due to the effect of the sun’s heat on the stone, which caused it to expand and contract, producing a creaking sound. However, the sound phenomenon ceased after one of the statues was damaged in an earthquake in 27 BC. Despite the end of the sound, the name «Colossi of Memnon» stuck, and the statues continue to be known by that name to this day.
The Colossi of Memnon
The legend of the song of the colossus of Memnon at the time of sunrise:
According to the ancient Greek legend, the Colossi of Memnon in Luxor, Egypt, produced a mysterious sound at dawn that was believed to be the sound of Eos, the goddess of dawn, weeping for her son Memnon. The legend says that the statues would sing when the first rays of the sun hit them in the morning.
The sound was described as a beautiful, mournful melody that could be heard for miles around. The ancient Greeks were so fascinated by the phenomenon that they made the journey to Egypt specifically to hear the «song of the Colossi of Memnon.» Visitors to the statues claimed to have heard the sound, and many left inscriptions on the statues, some of which are still visible today.
However, it is now known that the sound was most likely due to the effect of the sun’s heat on the stone, which caused it to expand and contract, producing a creaking sound. The phenomenon ceased after one of the statues was damaged in an earthquake in 27 BC. Despite the end of the sound, the legend of the «song of the Colossi of Memnon» continued to be popular throughout the ancient world, and the statues have become an enduring symbol of Egypt’s ancient past.
Why is it called Colossi of Memnon?
The two statues known as the «Colossi of Memnon» are located in Luxor, Egypt, and they are known by this name because of a popular ancient Greek legend. According to the legend, Memnon was a king of Ethiopia who led an army to fight in the Trojan War. After Memnon was killed by the Greek hero Achilles, his mother, Eos (the goddess of dawn), wept tears of mourning every morning. The legend says that the statues produced a mysterious sound at dawn, which was believed to be the sound of Eos weeping for her son. The Greeks thought that the sound was coming from the statues, and thus they named them the «Colossi of Memnon» after the legendary king.
The name has continued to be used for these statues throughout history, although the legend of the sound has been debunked. The statues were actually constructed during the reign of the pharaoh Amenhotep III, who ruled Egypt during the 14th century BCE. They were originally intended to guard the entrance of Amenhotep III’s mortuary temple, which was located nearby. The Colossi of Memnon are considered to be among the largest and most impressive statues from ancient Egypt, and they continue to be a popular tourist attraction today.
Restoration of the Colossi of Memnon:
The Colossi of Memnon have undergone several rounds of restoration over the years to help preserve these ancient statues. Some of the restoration work that has been done includes:
Repairing damage caused by natural erosion and weathering: The Colossi of Memnon are made of sandstone, which is a relatively soft and porous material. Over the centuries, the statues have been subjected to wind, sandstorms, and other natural forces that have caused erosion and weathering. Restoration efforts have involved repairing this damage and applying protective coatings to help prevent further erosion.
Reattaching fallen pieces: At various times, pieces of the statues have fallen off due to natural erosion or human activities such as looting or vandalism. Restoration work has involved reattaching these fallen pieces to the statues.
Reinforcing weak points: As the Colossi of Memnon have aged, some weak points have developed where the statues are particularly vulnerable to damage. Restoration work has involved reinforcing these weak points to help prevent further damage.
Installing protective barriers: To help protect the Colossi of Memnon from further damage, barriers have been installed around the statues to keep people and animals away. This has helped prevent damage caused by visitors climbing on the statues or leaving graffiti.
The restoration work on the Colossi of Memnon has been an ongoing effort to help preserve these ancient treasures for future generations to enjoy.
Recent discoveries of Colossi of Memnon:
There have not been any recent discoveries of the Colossi of Memnon themselves, as these ancient statues have been known and studied for centuries. However, there have been some recent discoveries and developments related to the site where the statues are located, which is known as the Memnon Colossi Temple or the Ramesseum.
For example, in 2020, Egyptian archaeologists announced the discovery of a new temple near the Ramesseum that is thought to have been built by Pharaoh Ramses II. The temple contains a large number of stone inscriptions and statues, including one that depicts Ramses II seated on a throne and holding a scepter and ankh. The discovery of the temple sheds new light on the history of the Ramesseum and the surrounding area.
In addition, the Egyptian government has undertaken a number of projects in recent years aimed at promoting tourism and improving access to the Colossi of Memnon and other nearby attractions. For example, a new visitors’ center was opened in 2020, which features exhibits and multimedia displays about the history and significance of the site. There have also been improvements to the roads, parking areas, and other infrastructure in the area, which have made it easier for visitors to reach and explore the Colossi of Memnon and other ancient sites in Luxor.
Where is the Colossi of Memnon located?
The Colossi of Memnon are located on the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor, Egypt. Specifically, they are located near the modern-day city of Kom Al-Hitan and the ancient city of Thebes, which was the capital of ancient Egypt during the New Kingdom period. The Colossi of Memnon are situated on the site of the mortuary temple of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, which was one of the largest and most impressive temples in ancient Egypt.
The location of the Colossi of Memnon on the west bank of the Nile is significant because this was the side of the river where the ancient Egyptians believed the sun set and where the dead were thought to go to the afterlife. As such, the west bank of the Nile was considered a sacred area, and it is home to many ancient tombs, temples, and other important sites. Today, the Colossi of Memnon are a popular tourist attraction and a testament to the rich history and culture of ancient Egypt.
When was the Colossi of Memnon built?
The Colossi of Memnon were built during the 14th century BCE, during the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III of the 18th dynasty of ancient Egypt. The statues were originally part of a larger mortuary temple complex that was dedicated to Amenhotep III and his cult.
Construction of the temple complex began early in Amenhotep III’s reign and continued for many years, with the king commissioning a number of impressive structures and artworks to be built in the area. The Colossi of Memnon were among the earliest structures to be built in the temple complex, and they were placed at the entrance to the temple as guardians and protectors.
The Colossi of Memnon are believed to have been carved from two massive blocks of quartzite sandstone that were transported from a quarry located more than 600 kilometers (370 miles) away. The statues are estimated to be around 3,400 years old and are some of the best-preserved examples of ancient Egyptian monumental sculpture.
What does the Colossi of Memnon represent?
The Colossi of Memnon are giant statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III that stand approximately 18 meters (60 feet) tall. The statues are depicted seated on thrones, with their hands resting on their knees and their faces looking out towards the Nile River. The statues are highly detailed, with intricate carvings and hieroglyphic inscriptions covering their surfaces.
The Colossi of Memnon are believed to represent Pharaoh Amenhotep III in his role as a god-king. In ancient Egyptian religion, pharaohs were believed to be living gods on earth, and they were often depicted in statues and other artworks in a highly stylized and idealized form. The Colossi of Memnon were designed to inspire awe and reverence in those who saw them, and they were likely intended to convey the power and majesty of the pharaoh.
The statues also served a practical purpose as part of the larger mortuary temple complex. As guardians of the temple, the Colossi of Memnon were designed to protect the temple from harm and to ward off evil spirits. They were placed at the entrance to the temple to greet and impress visitors, and they were also believed to act as a focal point for the pharaoh’s cult, where his priests and worshippers could come to pay homage and make offerings.
Overall, the Colossi of Memnon are a powerful symbol of the grandeur and sophistication of ancient Egyptian art and architecture, and they remain a testament to the enduring legacy of one of the world’s greatest civilizations.
What was the shape of the Colossi of Memnon?
The Colossi of Memnon are massive statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, which stand upright and depict the pharaoh in a seated position on a throne. The statues are carved from solid blocks of quartzite sandstone and are approximately 18 meters (60 feet) tall, making them some of the largest surviving examples of ancient Egyptian monumental sculpture.
Each statue is highly detailed, with intricate carvings and hieroglyphic inscriptions covering its surface. The pharaoh is depicted with his hands resting on his knees and his face looking out towards the Nile River. The throne on which he is seated is also decorated with various carvings and inscriptions.
Overall, the Colossi of Memnon have a somewhat rectangular shape, with the body of the pharaoh seated on a rectangular base and the throne extending outwards. The shape of the statues is designed to convey a sense of power and grandeur, as well as to impress and awe those who see them. The Colossi of Memnon are one of the most recognizable and iconic symbols of ancient Egyptian art and architecture, and they remain a popular destination for tourists and scholars alike.
What distinguishes the Colossi of Memnon?
The Colossi of Memnon are distinguished by their massive size and their impressive level of detail and craftsmanship. At approximately 18 meters (60 feet) tall, the statues are among the largest examples of ancient Egyptian monumental sculpture. They are also notable for their seated position and the intricate carvings and hieroglyphic inscriptions that cover their surfaces.
The Colossi of Memnon are also distinctive for their historical significance. They were constructed during the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III in the 14th century BCE and were originally part of a larger mortuary temple complex dedicated to the pharaoh and his cult. The temple complex was one of the largest and most impressive in all of ancient Egypt, and it served as a focal point for the pharaoh’s worship and as a symbol of his power and authority.
Another thing that distinguishes the Colossi of Memnon is the legend associated with them. According to ancient Greek and Roman writers, the statues were said to emit a musical sound at sunrise, which was believed to be the voice of Memnon, a hero of Greek mythology. While this legend has since been debunked, it helped to create an aura of mystery and wonder around the statues, further enhancing their significance and appeal.
Overall, the Colossi of Memnon are an iconic symbol of ancient Egyptian art and architecture, and they remain a testament to the grandeur and sophistication of one of the world’s greatest civilizations.
What is Colossi Memnon made of?
The Colossi of Memnon are made of solid blocks of quartzite sandstone. Quartzite is a hard, dense, and durable rock that is found in many parts of the world, including Egypt. It is a type of metamorphic rock that is formed when sandstone is subjected to high heat and pressure over time.
The sandstone used to make the Colossi of Memnon was quarried from local sources near the temple complex where the statues were originally erected. The blocks of stone were then transported to the site of the temple and carved into their final form by skilled artisans.
The statues were originally covered in a layer of plaster and painted with bright colors to enhance their visual impact. Over time, however, the plaster has deteriorated, and the paint has faded, leaving the statues with their natural stone color.
Despite being over 3,000 years old, the Colossi of Memnon remain remarkably well-preserved, thanks in part to the durability of the quartzite stone used to make them. They continue to be a popular tourist attraction and a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of ancient Egyptian artists and architects.
What happened to the Colossi Memnon?
The Colossi of Memnon have survived for over 3,000 years, but they have not been entirely unscathed by the passage of time and human activities.
One of the most significant events in the history of the Colossi of Memnon occurred in 27 BCE, when an earthquake damaged the northern statue, causing it to collapse and break into several large pieces. The statue was later restored by the Roman emperor Septimius Severus, who re-erected the pieces and added an inscription to commemorate the event.
The Colossi of Memnon were also subject to looting and vandalism over the centuries, with some of the hieroglyphic inscriptions and carvings being defaced or removed by early visitors and travelers. In the modern era, the statues have been subject to erosion and weathering, as well as pollution and other environmental factors that can impact the durability of the stone.
Despite these challenges, the Colossi of Memnon remain one of the most impressive and well-preserved examples of ancient Egyptian monumental sculpture. They continue to attract tourists and scholars from around the world, and they serve as a testament to the power and sophistication of one of the world’s greatest civilizations.
Voice is grateful Singing of Colossi of Memnon:
While the ancient legend that the Colossi of Memnon sing at sunrise has been debunked, there have been some accounts over the years of visitors and scholars reporting strange sounds or vibrations emanating from the statues.
In some cases, these sounds have been attributed to natural causes, such as the movement of air currents or the settling of the stone as the temperature changes throughout the day. In other cases, the sounds have been attributed to the acoustic properties of the surrounding landscape, which can amplify or distort sound waves in unusual ways.
One famous account of a «singing» Colossi of Memnon occurred in 179 AD, when the Roman emperor Hadrian visited the site and heard a sound coming from one of the statues. He later had the statue examined and found that the sound was caused by the expansion of the stone as it warmed in the sun.
While it’s unlikely that the Colossi of Memnon will ever «sing» again, they continue to capture the imagination and inspire wonder and awe in visitors from around the world.
When did Giant Memnon stop singing?
The legend that the Colossi of Memnon sang at sunrise was a popular one in ancient times, but it is not based in fact. The sounds that were once attributed to the singing of the statues were likely caused by natural phenomena, such as the movement of air currents or the settling of the stone as the temperature changed throughout the day.
In any case, the sounds that were once heard at the site gradually diminished over time, as the statues became weathered and eroded by the elements. By the time of the Roman occupation of Egypt, the singing of the Colossi of Memnon had largely ceased, and the site was more famous for its architectural and artistic achievements than for any supernatural properties.
Today, the Colossi of Memnon are a popular tourist attraction in Egypt, drawing visitors from around the world to marvel at their size, beauty, and historical significance. While the singing of the statues may be a thing of the past, their impact on the human imagination remains as strong as ever.
Why is the Colossi Memnon important?
The Colossi of Memnon is an important historical and cultural landmark in Egypt, and it is significant for a number of reasons:
- Historical Significance: The Colossi of Memnon was built during the 14th century BC, during the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, and it was part of a larger mortuary complex that included a temple, a causeway, and other structures. The complex was one of the largest and most impressive of its kind in ancient Egypt, and it served as a testament to the power and prestige of the pharaoh and his dynasty.
- Artistic Achievement: The Colossi of Memnon are two of the largest and most impressive statues in the world. They stand over 18 meters tall and are carved from a single piece of stone. The statues are highly detailed, with intricate carvings, hieroglyphic inscriptions, and other decorative elements.
- Cultural Significance: The Colossi of Memnon has been an important cultural landmark for thousands of years. It was visited by ancient Greeks and Romans, who were fascinated by the stories of the singing statues. Today, it is a popular tourist destination and a symbol of Egypt’s rich cultural heritage.
- Restoration and Conservation: The restoration and conservation of the Colossi of Memnon is an ongoing process, and it serves as an example of how ancient monuments can be preserved for future generations. The restoration work includes efforts to stabilize the stone, repair damage, and prevent erosion and weathering.
Overall, the Colossi of Memnon is an important symbol of Egypt’s rich cultural history, and it continues to inspire wonder and awe in visitors from around the world.
About King Amenophis III: Title: Pharaoh of the Sun Pharaonic dynasty: 18th Born: 1411 B.C., Ancient Egypt Period of reign: 1391-1353 BC or 1388-1351 BC Duration: 38 years Cause of death: Unidentified disease Burial place: The Tomb of Amenhotep III NO. KV22 in Luxor, the Valley of the Kings. Father: King Thutmose IV Mother: Queen Mut Em Wea
King Amenophis III, also known as Amenhotep III, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who reigned during the 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom period. He was born in 1411 B.C. in Ancient Egypt and ascended to the throne in 1391 B.C. or 1388 B.C., depending on the historical source. He reigned for 38 years, until his death in 1353 B.C. or 1351 B.C. He was succeeded by his son, Akhenaten.
Amenophis III was known for his ambitious building projects and his interest in the arts and culture. He built many impressive temples and monuments, including the mortuary temple and colossal statues at Luxor, and the temple of Soleb in Nubia. He was also known for his diplomatic skills, as he maintained peaceful relations with many of the neighboring kingdoms and empires.
Amenophis III was given the title «Pharaoh of the Sun» because of his close association with the god Ra, the sun god. He was considered to be a powerful and just ruler, and his reign is often seen as a period of stability and prosperity in ancient Egypt.
Amenophis III was buried in the Tomb of Amenhotep III NO. KV22 in Luxor, in the Valley of the Kings. His tomb was discovered in 1799, and it is one of the largest and most impressive tombs in the valley. It contains many elaborate paintings and decorations, including scenes from the Book of the Dead.
Wives: Queen Sat Amon Queen Gelojipa Queen Tyi
King Amenophis III had several wives throughout his reign, and three of the most prominent ones were Queen Tiye, Queen Tadukhipa (also known as Gelojipa), and Queen Sitamun (not Sat Amon).
Queen Tiye was Amenophis III’s chief wife and the mother of his successor, Akhenaten. She was a powerful queen and played an important role in her husband’s reign, accompanying him on many of his building projects and diplomatic missions.
Queen Tadukhipa, also known as Gelojipa, was the daughter of the king of the Mitanni kingdom in Syria. She was given to Amenophis III as a diplomatic gift, and she became one of his wives.
Queen Sitamun was Amenophis III’s eldest daughter and was elevated to the status of queen. She played an important role in her father’s reign and was closely associated with the goddess Hathor.
There were also other wives and lesser wives in Amenophis III’s harem, but these three are among the most famous and well-known.
Sons and daughters: King King Akhenaton. Prince Thutmose Sat Amon Isset. Henut Ta Neb Nebet Aaha. Semenekh Ka Ra Baket Aton
King Amenophis III had several sons and daughters, including:
- Akhenaten: He was the son of Queen Tiye and succeeded Amenophis III as pharaoh. He is famous for his religious reforms and the establishment of a new capital city at Amarna.
- Prince Thutmose: He was one of Amenophis III’s sons and held several important positions during his reign, including High Priest of Ptah at Memphis.
- Satamun: She was one of Amenophis III’s daughters and was elevated to the status of Great Royal Wife. She may have been married to her brother Akhenaten after their mother Tiye’s death.
- Isis (Isset): She was one of Amenophis III’s daughters and was a prominent member of the royal court. She may have been married to her brother Thutmose.
- Henuttaneb (Henut Ta Neb): She was one of Amenophis III’s daughters and held the title of God’s Wife of Amun, a powerful religious position.
- Nebetah (Nebet Aha): She was one of Amenophis III’s daughters and held the title of Mistress of the Robes, a high-ranking court position.
- Semenkhkare (Semenekh Ka Ra): He was possibly one of Amenophis III’s sons and may have briefly reigned as pharaoh after Akhenaten’s death.
- Baketaten (Baket Aton): She was possibly one of Amenophis III’s daughters and was a minor wife of her brother Akhenaten.
King Amenophis III
There were also other sons and daughters of Amenophis III, but these are some of the most well-known and historically significant.
His constructions: Malkata. The funerary temple of Amenophis III in Luxor. The Colossi of Memnon in Luxor.
King Amenophis III was a prolific builder and constructed many important monuments during his reign, including:
- Malkata: This was Amenophis III’s palace complex located on the West Bank of the Nile in Thebes. It was a vast complex that included several palaces, administrative buildings, and gardens.
- The Funerary Temple of Amenophis III: This temple was located on the West Bank of the Nile and was dedicated to the pharaoh’s cult after his death. The temple was also known as the Temple of Millions of Years and was a massive complex that included many shrines, chapels, and statues.
- The Colossi of Memnon: These two massive statues of Amenophis III were located at the entrance to the funerary temple. They are made of sandstone and each stands over 18 meters tall.
In addition to these major construction projects, Amenophis III also commissioned the building of many other temples, palaces, and statues throughout Egypt. His reign is considered a high point of Egyptian architecture and art.
The reign of King Amenophis III:
The reign of King Amenophis III was a period of great prosperity and cultural achievement in ancient Egypt. He ruled from around 1391 to 1353 BC, during the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom period. Amenophis III inherited a stable kingdom from his father, Thutmose IV, and spent much of his reign consolidating his power and expanding Egypt’s influence.
During his reign, Amenophis III built many impressive monuments, including the temple of Luxor and the mortuary temple at Kom el-Hettan. He also commissioned the construction of the Colossi of Memnon, two massive statues of himself that still stand today. Amenophis III was also known for his extensive diplomatic relations with other powers of the time, including the Mitanni Empire and the Hittite Kingdom.
In addition to his diplomatic achievements, Amenophis III was also a great patron of the arts. He commissioned many works of art, including sculptures, stelae, and decorative objects. The art of his reign was characterized by a new realism and a greater emphasis on the individuality of the subject.
Amenophis III was succeeded by his son, Amenophis IV, who later changed his name to Akhenaten and instituted a religious revolution in Egypt. Amenophis III is remembered as one of the most powerful and successful pharaohs in ancient Egyptian history, whose reign marked a high point of the New Kingdom period.
Colossi of Memnon Location: Luxor West Bank, Egypt. the Colossi of Memnon Opening Hours: Every Day From 06:00 AM To 05:00 PM. Colossi of Memnon Ticket Price:
the ticket price for the Colossi of Memnon was included in the general admission ticket for the West Bank of Luxor, which cost 240 Egyptian pounds (about 15 USD) for foreign visitors and 80 Egyptian pounds for Egyptian visitors. However, please note that ticket prices and availability may change, and it’s always best to check with the relevant authorities or tour operators for the most up-to-date information.
FAQ: What do the Colossi Memnon represent? Rule of the king over Egypt. Who erected the Colossi of Memnon? King Amenhotep III.
To clarify, the Colossi of Memnon represent King Amenhotep III himself and his power over Egypt, rather than just the rule of any king over Egypt. And as you correctly stated, King Amenhotep III was the one who commissioned the construction of the Colossi of Memnon.
Where was the Colossi Memnon found?
The Colossi of Memnon were found in their original location in the Theban Necropolis on the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor, Egypt. Specifically, they are located on the plain of the Theban Necropolis, across from the modern city of Luxor.
What is the purpose of the colossi? What damaged the Colossi of Memnon?
The purpose of the Colossi of Memnon was to act as guardians at the entrance to the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III on the west bank of the Nile. They were meant to depict the king himself and to convey his power and authority to visitors and subjects.
The Colossi of Memnon have suffered damage over the centuries due to various factors, including natural erosion, floods, and earthquakes. They were also subject to damage from human activity, including vandalism, looting, and even attempts to repair and restore them. In particular, the northern statue of the Colossi was damaged by an earthquake in ancient times, which caused the upper part of the statue to break off and fall to the ground. Despite this damage, the Colossi of Memnon remain an important and impressive monument that attracts visitors from all over the world.
Hurghada excursions packages /
Hurghada Excursions provides a wide range of tours and packages to explore the wonders of Egypt. In addition to the Luxor Day Trip and Cairo Day Tour, visitors can enjoy a Nile Cruise from Luxor to Aswan, including visits to the Valley of the Kings, Tomb of Tutankhamun, Karnak Temple, The Colossi of Memnon, Luxor Temple, Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, and a relaxing Felucca ride on the Nile River. Hurghada Excursions also offers private tours tailored to your preferences and location, whether you’re in Cairo, Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh, Marsa Alam , or Alexandria. Enjoy horseback riding, camel rides, and a Nile River Felucca Cruise, among other activities. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover the secrets of ancient Egypt with Hurghada Excursions.