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Colossi of Memnon of Pharaoh Amenhotep III.

posted 15 May 2011, 13:46 by Manal Raafat

 The Colossi of Memnon are two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. For the past 3400 years (since 1350 BC) they have stood in the Theban necropolis [ Thebes is the Greek name for a city in Ancient Egypt located about 800 km south of the Mediterranean, on the east bank of the river Nile. The Valley of the Kings is located also in Thebes.], across the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor.

The original picture  

The twin statues show Amenhotep III  in a seated position, his hands resting on his knees and he is looking eastwards towards the river. Two shorter figures are carved into the front throne alongside his legs: these are his wife Tiy and mother Mutemwiya. The side panels depict the Nile god Hapy.

 The statues are made from blocks of quartzite sandstone which was stone quarried at el-Gabal el-Ahmar (is located today within the boundaries of modern-day Cairo, in the area of Nasr City . The name means "The Red Hill".) and transported 675 km (420 miles) overland to Thebes. (They are too heavy to have been transported upstream on the Nile.) 

The blocks used by later Roman engineers to reconstruct the eastern colossus may have come from Edfu (north of Aswan). Including the stone platforms on which they stand (about 4 metres (13 ft) themselves), the colossi reach a towering 18 metres (approx. 60 ft) in height and weigh an estimated 700 tons each. The two figures are about 15 metres (50 ft) apart. 

Both statues are quite damaged, with the features above the waist virtually unrecognizable. The western (or southern) statue is a single piece of stone, but the eastern (or northern) figure has a large extentive crack in the lower half and above the waist consists of 5 tiers of stone. These upper levels consist of a different type of sandstone, and are the result of a later (Roman Empire) reconstruction attempt. It is believed that originally the two statues were identical to each other, although inscriptions and minor art may have varied.

The original function of the Colossi was to stand guard at the entrance to Amenhotep's memorial temple[ The Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III (known in modern times as Kom el-Hettan, ) is located in the Theban necropolis, on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Luxor in Egypt. It was built for the Pharaoh Amenhotep III. When constructed it was the largest of the mortuary temples in the Theban area, larger than the complex at Karnak, and covered an area of 350,000 square metres.] 

Amassive cult centre built during the pharaoh's lifetime, where he was worshipped as a god-on-earth both before and after his departure from this world. In its day, this temple complex was the largest and most rich in Egypt.  

With the exception of the Colossi, very little remains today of Amenhotep's temple.

The Name

Memnon was a hero of the Trojan War[ Greek mythology],The name Memnon means "Ruler of the Dawn", and was probably applied to the colossi because of the reported cry at dawn of one of the statues .Eventually, the entire Theban Necropolis became generally referred to as the Memnonium.  


In 27 BC, a large earthquake had destroyed the eastern colossus,collapsing it from the waist up and cracking the lower half. Following its rupture, the remaining lower half of this statue was then reputed to "sing" on various occasions- always within an hour or two of sunrise, usually right at dawn. The sound was most often reported in February or March . The description varied;some said it sounded "like a blow",others  compared it to "the string of a lyre[ The lyre is a stringed musical instrument]" breaking,it also was described as the striking of brass[ Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties] or whistling.

For that Colossi statue,and great king Amenhotep III ,I wanted to make some thing different .I found myself fixing the photo and designing many things .I will show and explain ,hoping that you will like it .

The first design.I found it nice as invitation card .I designed it with both illustrator and photo shop.

 The second design.I draw a frame with the Brush Tool ,manually.  

The third design ,with dissolve frame .

The fourth ,with black marbled glossy frame .


 First of all we should adjust the levels of colors of the photo, to make it bright and clear.

Open the picture in photo-shop and go to the Adjustments Panel -levels[ the second from the upper left] .Drag the slider to adjust it.

First photo ( invitation card)

  • Open the photo in illustrator ,apply Graphic Style RGB Stucco (Graphic Style panel ) to give the effect of rough paper.
  • Add new layer to add the two frames for writing the invitation .Draw the frames with Round RectangleTool ,then apply the style of the frame [ Brushs Panel -Borders -Borders Frames]chose the one you like.
  • Save your work and then open the art work in photo shop. 
  •  Add new layer for the text ,apply the layer style as shown in the illustration .

  •  Save your work.

The second photo.

  • I used for that design the Brush Tool and adjust the Brush Option in the option panel and adjust the layer options in the layer panel .[the illustration]
  • Drag all around the photo to add the frame manually .
  • Save your work .

 The third photo .

  • Add new layer .Use the Custom Shape Tool and chose the simple frame with no style .
  • From the layers panel adjust the blending mode to dissolve and layer opacity to 50%.
  •  Save your work. 

The fourth photo.

 It is a simple frame with the Custom Shape Tool.and the style you like.

I hope it was useful ,and I could explain my idea.