The Colossi of Memnon
The Colossi of Memnon dates back to the New Kingdom, the 18th Dynasty, during the reign of Amenhotep III. The mortuary temple in Thebes is guarded by two 20-meter-high statues that were severely damaged during a 27 BC earthquake. The temple has now been destroyed, and all that remains is the 23-meter-high23-meter-high statue of Amenhotep III, which weighs around a thousand tons.
The statues are impressive pieces even after such destruction by natural and manly action.
The two statues were referred to as Ruler of Rulers by ancient Egyptians, and later travelers named them Shammy and Tammy, probably meaning left and right. Today, however, the two colossal statues are called el-Colossal or es-Salamat. The statues are crafted from quartzite quarried from either Gebes es Silisla or Giza. On the other hand, the northern sculpture illustrates the Pharaoh with this mother, while the southern one seems to be of the Pharaoh with his wife and one of his daughters. They are indeed a sight to behold.
The two statues were previously located in front of the destroyed mortuary temple of Amenhotep III. They're now made of sandstone, each consisting of a pedestal and a crown of about 21 meters in height. The statue now represents the Pharaoh seated on the throne wearing the royal headdress of the Nemes, protected by the divine cobra. The sides of the colossi represent the god Hapi of the Nile, bending together the papyrus plants and the lotus. The place was famous as a resort during the Roman era, where many famous travelers and Romans wrote verses and poems about the massive structures and left epigrams on the stones behind. As you walk around, [icture the ancient Romans vacationing in this now barren place.
Visitors come to this place from all over to hear a song. It was granted to show that you were in favor of the gods. However, a Roman emperor, Septimius Severus, inadvertently silenced the music forever while repairing the statues.
Theories Behind the Singing Statues of The Colossi of Memnon
The Colossi of Memnon were so popular during the Roman period because, according to legend, the statues sang. This was probably due to the expansion of the stone, which warmed during the day and cooled at night.
Another theory suggests that the reverberating wind made the sounds through the cracks. However, the restoration in 199 BC stopped the sounds, and the statues never sang again.
Perhaps the statues were unhappy with the renovations, and thus, they ceased to perform any longer.
How to get to the Colossi of Memnon
The Colossi of Memnon is about half a kilometer east of the Antiquities Inspectorate (the ticket office) on the main road leading to the west bank monument area. The statues are always open, and no ticket is required to visit them.