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Perhaps the most imposing monument on the West Bank at Luxor are the famous 'Colossi of Memnon'. These massive quartzite (or quartzose sandstone) statues which once flanked the entrance to Amenhotep III's mortuary temple now stand virtually alone in a field at the side of the road to the valley of the kings.

Unfortunately the condition of the statues is not good. This is mainly caused by the soft nature of the stone from which they are made, combined with ancient Earthquake damage. Rising groundwater levels may also pose a risk to the site.

The Legend of Memnon
The Memnon legend was attached to the northern of the two statues by the Greeks. A fissure ran through the statue and when the ancient stone was warmed by the early morning rays of th sun it was heard to give an eerie moan. The Ancient Greeks thought that the statue represented King Memnon, and the sound was him greeting his mother Eos.
Unfortunately attempts were made to repair the statue by the Romans, and since this time the Colossi have been silent.

Notable amongst the objects remaining at the site are two Sphinxes, both unfortunately headless. One of these is a typical lion bodied sculpture, which originally had a human head.

My personal favorite statue on the site is this fine Crocodile tailed Sphinx. The crocodile was sacred to the god Sobek, who was later worshiped at the temple of Kom Ombo.

One of the most lasting impressions gained from this site is how much of the remains are still there. The Memnon are frequently described as being the last remnants of the temple, but almost as interesting are the hundreds of inscribed masonry blocks and pieces of statues which litter the site, many of which would take pride of place in any collection in the world. In addition in the centre of the site, overgrown and half immersed in water stands a triad figure, with cartouches still visible.