There’s no doubt about the fact that Egypt is full of amazing and magnificent architectural and archaeological sites. It is blessed with such ancient beauty that people admire to view the ancient structures, be it Pyramids of Giza, White Desert, Sphinx, Karnak Temple and list goes on and on.
Located in Luxor, magnificent statues of Colossi of Memnon are one of them. Since, 1350 BC, these ancient Egyptian statues have emerged over the Theban Necropolis. Thought they have tolerated scorching desert sun and Nile floods for more than 3,400, they have fascinated the imaginations of curious travelers for years now.
The twin colossi depict the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who ruled during the 18th Dynasty.
But it is sad that they no longer look identical!
They once guarded the entrance to his lost mortuary temple, which was the most lavish temple in all of Egypt. Their faded side edges show Hapy, god of the nearby Nile.
How did Colossi of Memnon found its voice?
Through all these years, floods have accentuated the temple’s looted ruins, but still the statues have withstood any disaster nature throws their way.
Did you know?
In 27 BC, an earthquake smashed the northern colossus, collapsing its top and cracking its lower half. Surprisingly, the devastated statue did more than merely survive the catastrophe: After the earthquake, it also found its voice.
At dawn, when the first ray of desert sun knock over the baked horizon, the destroyed statue would sing. Doesn’t that surprise you?
The tune that came out of it was more powerful than pleasant – a dreamy song that stimulate mysterious thoughts of the divine.
Know other places to visit in Luxor:
Comparison of the statues
By 20 BC, tourists from around the Greco-Roman world used to trek across the desert to see the sunrise acoustic spectacle. Further, scholars including the likes of Pausanias, Publius, and Strabo narrated tales of the statue’s strange sound ringing through the morning air.
Some say it resembled striking brass, while others compared it to the snap of a breaking lyre string. Who knows what’s true? You will only know after visiting the Colossi of Memnon in person!
The extraordinary song is how these ancient Egyptian statues came up with a name taken from ancient Greece.
Did you know?
According to Greek mythology, Achilles slaughtered the goddess of Dawn, Memnon. Why? Keep reading….
Alas! Colossi of Memnon Lost its Voice.
Supposedly, the strange weep echoing from the cracked colossi’s chasm was him crying to his mother each morning. (Modern scientists believe early morning heat caused dew trapped within the statue’s crack to evaporate, creating a series of vibrations that echoed through the thin desert air.)
Sadly, unthreatening Romans silenced the song in the third century AD. After visiting the storied statues and failing to hear their short-lived sounds, Emperor Septimius Severus had the cracked statue repaired.
But his reconstructions, in addition to disfiguring the statue so the fixtures no longer looked like identical twins, robbed the colossi of its famous voice and rendered its song a lost acoustic wonder of the ancient world.