Egypt Colossi of Memnon







The Colossi of Memnon have nothing in common with Memnon who was a hero of the Trojan War, an Ethiopian king that led his armies from Africa to Asia, helping the ones who were protecting the town. His name association with the Colossi of Amenhotep III it was more likely something that the Greeks wanted than a reality. The Greeks were calling the entire Theban necropolis Memnonium and this name remained in the popular use for 2000 years. The name of Memnon means ‘the lord of the dawn’. The Colossi of Memnon are two massive stone statues of the pharaoh Amenhotep III. The two colossi have been sentinels in the last 3400 years in the Theban necropolis. The two statues represent the pharaoh staying with his hands on the knees and with his look towards East, to the river and the sunrise. Two little figures are craved in the frontal part of the throne, next to the pharaoh’s feet. They are the wife Tiy and the mother Mutemwiya. The statues are made from blocks of stone and have 18 meters, including the platforms on which they rest. The initial purpose of the colossi was to guide the entrance of the funeral temple of Amenhotep, a big centre of cult built while the pharaoh was alive where he was adored as god on earth not only during his life but also after his death. At its time, the complex was the biggest and the most opulent from Egypt. Covering 35 000 miles, it couldn’t be equaled by the rivals like Ramses II or Ramses III (with his funeral temple from Medinet Habu). Even the Karnak Temple was smaller, as it was in Amenhotep`s times. Excepting the colossi, nothing remained from the temple of Amenhotep III.



Egypt Colossi of Memnon


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