Colossi of Memnon
Location: in a field at the side of the road to the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of Luxor
Built: For the past 3400 years (since 1350 BC)
Built by: Amenhotep III (18th Dynasty)
History: The Colossi of Memnon (known to locals as el-Colossat, or es-Salamat) are two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. For the past 3400 years they have stood in the Theban necropolis, across the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor. Amenhotep III (18th Dynasty) built a mortuary temple in Thebes that was guarded by two gigantic statues on the outer gates. All that remains now are the 23 meter (75 ft) high, one thousand ton statues of Amenhotep III. Though damaged by nature and ancient tourists, the statues are still impressive. Perhaps the most imposing monument on the West Bank at Luxor is the famous 'Colossi of Memnon'. These massive quartzite (or quartzose sandstone) statues which once flanked the entrance to Amenhotep III's mortuary temple now stand virtually alone in a field at the side of the road to the valley of the kings. The temple on the west bank of Luxor, the first monument that you will encounter, it is the two gigantic statues known as the Colossi of Memnon. The Greeks gave them their name, after the Trojan hero Memnon, who was killed by Achilles. These two, gigantic figures of Amenhotep III were originally situated in front of his Mortuary temple, which was destroyed for unknown reasons! The two colossi are made of sandstone, which during ancient times was brought from Gabal El Silselah. Each colossus, including the pedestal and the crown, is about 21m tall and represents King Amenhotep III seating on his throne, wearing the Nemes, or royal headdress, with the divine cobra protecting his forehead. On the sides of the colossi there is a representation of the Nile god Hapi, bending together the lotus and the papyrus plants, symbolizing the union of Upper and Lower Egypt. This site became a popular resort in the Roman Period. Many famous Romans.