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Colossi of Memnon Colossi of Memnon
Photo by Raymon Kondos © 2004

The sitting mighty ColossiWhat does it mean? of Memnon originally belong to King Amenhotep III. They were once flanking his big mortuary temple that was leveled to the ground by time. Its stones were either reused or stolen.

The 18-meter-high colossi are made of quartzite sandstone.
Later, the left-hand statue was associated by the Greeks with their god Memnon, son of dawn-goddess Eos, who fought in defense of Troy, hence the current names of the colossi.

An earthquake in 28 BC made cracks in one colossus, emitting a whistling sound that the Greek believed it is the voice of singing god Memnon as he greets his mother.

The colossi attracted ancient tourists who flocked there to hear the singing, as manifested by Greek and Latin graffiti inscribed on the pedestals. Among the ancient VIPs who visited the colossi are Roman Emperor Hadrian and his wife in 130 AD.

A restoration to them in the 3rd century AD filled in the cracks and caused the halt of 'the singing' forever.
Lithograph 1


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