Legends of Colossi of Memnon

Colossi of Memnon are two massive statues on the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor city. They stood at the entrance of the mortuary temple of king Amenhotep III of the 18th dynasty, New kingdom. These statues are the only residual part of this temple.

These two twin statues depict King Amenhotep III, seating on the throne chair and wearing the Nemes, the royal headdress. The statues measure 20 meters tall. They are made of quartzite sandstone. The northern statue presents the king with a small statue for his mother (Mutemwiya), while the southern one presents him with his beloved wife (Tiye). Amenhotep, son of Hapu supervised the construction of these statues.

After an earthquake had occurred in 27 BC, the northern statue was deeply affected, as cracks appearing on it. These cracks resulted to when the winds were passing through the northern statue at dawn, making mysterious sounds and forming dew drops on the statue’s body.

The Greeks linked between these sounds and dewdrops and the crying of Memnon’s mother on her killing son (Memnon). Memnon was the king of Ethiopia, traveled to Asia to help in defending Trojan city, the beleaguered city under attack. But he was killed by Achilles. So they are famous for the Colossi of Memnon.

Achilles killing Memnon - Egypt Vacation Tours

Achilles killing Memnon

Later the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus restored the northern statue that led these sounds to stop.

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