Sightseeing

The two colossi of memnon

The colossi of memnon are the remains of the mortuary temple of king Amenhotep III , the 2 statues are 20 meters high , made of sandstone ,show the king Amenhotep III seated upon his throne ,on the sides of which the 2 figures of the nile god unite the two lands by tying the lotus flower symbol of upper egypt & papyrus flower symbol of lower egypt ,and resting his hands on his knees to prove the country is stable during his reign , beside the legs of each of the statues there is a small figure of queen tiye wife of Amenhotep III on the right , while on the left is queen mutemua his mother .

In 27BC , a terrible earthquake seriously damaged almost all the monuments in Thebes , and a part of the north colossus fell and was cracked .

It became famous in the roman period because it was said to sing every morning at sun rise , the greek poets soon turned it into a fine legend known as the singing stone .

Theories attribute this to expansion of the stone when it was warmed by the sun in the morning and contraction in the evening , or to the wind reverberating through the cracks .

The greeks regarded the statues as representing the Trojan hero Memnon , who was sent to aid troy and achieved a great glory ,but in turn he fell by the vengeful hand of Achilles .

The 2 colossi were restored during the roman time by the roman emperor Septimius Severus (193 - 211AD ) , corrected the fault , and it has been silent ever since .