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The Colossi of Memnon, also known as Colossus of Memnon, are two massive stone statues on the west bank of the River Nile, opposite the modern city of Luxor, in Egypt. The statues are incredibly tall, about 18 meters high. They represent Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned ancient Egypt some 3,400 years ago.

The twin statues depict the pharaoh in a seated position, his hands resting on his knees and his gaze facing eastwards towards the river. They once stood at the entrance gate of Amenhotep's memorial temple, a massive construct built during the pharaoh's lifetime, where he was worshipped as a god-on-earth. When built, the temple complex was the largest and most opulent in Egypt, although very little of the temple remains today. Annual flooding of the Nile gnawed away at its foundations until later pharaohs decided to demolish the entire temple and reuse the stone blocks for other buildings. The statues were spared, although they are badly ruined.

colossi-of-memnon

Photo credit: Dan Kit/Flickr

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