The temple of Amenhotep III is a
mortuary temple, the biggest temple built on the Nile’s West
Bank; it covers 35 hectares and it was built during the 18th
dynasty, being one of the biggest Egyptians religious
structures. When it was built the temple superseded the Amen’s
temple from Karnak. It seems that the temple of Amenhotep III
had a rapid decay, the cause could be the land` s water content.
The remains of the temple, which also helped at identifying the
site, were the two huge pharaoh`s statues called the ‘Colossi of
Memnon’. The statues were placed at the gateway` s entrance.
During the 19th dynasty, numerous blocks from the temple of
Amenhotep III were reused by Merenptah to construct his funerary
monument situated in vicinity. The traces of the temple’s
columns and pylons give the temple’s outline. The temple of
Amenhotep III was never excavated in a proper way although there
is a mention as one of the Thebes 6 temples of Petrie. But,
during the recent years` excavations, made by teams of Egyptian
and German archaeologists, some architecture fragments
re-emerged, such as a hall with columns at the temple`s rear.
The temple’s entrance was in the East side, in opposition with
the Luxor Temple and had the two immense colossi of Amenhotep
III as guardians. At the feet of the two colossi were the small
statues of the queen Mutemwiya and of the queen Tiye. Between
the 3 pylons used to be 2 big courts with statues of the
pharaoh. A sphinx statue without head, of the queen Tiye was
discovered in the second pylon’s vicinity. Another sphinx
without head was discovered in 1957, in the temple’s Southern
side. This sphinx can be seen by visitors.