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Colossi of Memnon
These twin 3,400-year-old imposing statues once stood guard at the gateway of an immense temple complex.
Statues in brief
They are as high as a modern five-story building (see tourists in photo).
Each was sculpted out of a single stone block quarried from afar.
They've lost their faces and much of their upper-body detail.
The Colossi of Memnon gained their name when ancient Greeks mistakenly thought they depicted Memnon, a non-Egyptian. He's the hero king who was famously slain in the Trojan War by Achilles.
The correct subject is the powerful 14th century Pharoah Amonhotep III for whom the temple was built.
The elements including Nile floods took their toll. So did subsequent rulers who stripped the site for construction materials for new structures. Little remains today except for the Colossi of Memnon. You hardly see more than items like headless sphinxes and scattered building fragments.
Most visitors drop by for about 15 minutes on their way to the Valley of the Kings wonder.
Best photo time
Shoot the colossi in the low-angled, warm-toned early morning sunlight.
Location in Egypt