Episode 96: The Colossi of Memnon

Interlude: Everything Bigger Than Everything Else.

For 2000+ years, the Colossi of Memnon have dazzled visitors to Thebes. Greeks, Romans and modern tourists are enthralled by their size and spectacle. What are the statues doing there? In this episode, we explore the lost Mortuary Temple of Amunhotep III, in particular the immense statues which are his enduring legacy. From the hallowed sanctuaries of a temple, to the mysterious “singing” made by the Colossi, we visit one of the greatest sites in Egyptian antiquity…

96.1 - Copy

Direct Download (Save As mp3)

The Mortuary Complex of Amunhotep III

amunhotep iii - from lisagerda-henkel-siftung 1

The Mortuary Temple in digital reconstruction, showing the Colossi (right) and their four siblings, in descending size, before each of the three pylon gateways (Conservation Project).

amunhotep iii - from lisagerda-henkel-siftung 3

The Colossi of Memnon, with their siblings behind (Conservation Project).

amunhotep iii - from lisagerda-henkel-siftung 4

The restored stelae which describe Amunhotep’s Theban monuments (Conservation Project).

amunhotep iii - from lisagerda-henkel-siftung

The temple as it may have appeared when finished (Conservation Project).

Statues_of_Memnon_at_Thebes_during_the_flood-David_Roberts

An 1848 painting, ‘Statues of Memnon at Thebes during the flood,’ by David Roberts.

Bibliography

Dieter Arnold, The Monuments of Egypt, 2009.

Aidan Dodson, Amarna Sunrise, 2014.

Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume II: The New Kingdom, 2006.

Hourig Sourouzian et al., “Conservation work at the temple of Amenhotep III at Thebes, by The Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project,” 2016 (Online).

Richard H. Wilkinson, The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt, 2000.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Danielle K says:

    if you are not afraid to watch a french movie

    it is about all the work done in kom el hettan and at 34’14 you will see a 3D reconstruction of this HUGE temple and there is also the reconstitution of malgatta

    a millions thanks for your podcast et bravo for your pronontiation which is very helpfull when you are a french listener

    1. DominicPerry says:

      I was not aware of this but I will happily give it a shot! Let’s see how well my French classes have stuck with me :p

  2. Danielle K says:

    i send you the name of the movie which i have found on you tub because ,the link above is not working
    Le harem du Pharaon Soleil 2017 DOCUMENTAIRE HISTOIRE HD
    The reconstitution of kom el hettan is 35 minutes after the beginning
    if your german is better than your french you can try to get it in german because this channel (arte) is a french german channel

    1. DominicPerry says:

      Thank you! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s