The Colossi of Memnon (known to locals as el-Colossat, or es-Salamat) are two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. For the past 3400 years (since 1350 BC) they have stood in the Theban necropolis, across the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor.

DescriptionThe twin statues depict Amenhotep III (fl. 14th century BC) in a seated position, his hands resting on his knees and his gaze facing eastwards (actually SSE in modern bearings) 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 (near modern-day Cairo) 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 Colossi of Memnon
We had an amazing visit to the famous Valley of The Kings.  Photos were not permitted, so I had to grab some various shots from the Internet.  This area houses no less than 63 tombs of Kings, including the much-celebrated KING TUT.
The Valley of The Kings
Since most of the tombs are buried deep into the mountain, the valley looks more-or-less like this all around.  But, the tombs are all there, plus many more as of yet undiscovered.
King Tut is everyone's favorite!
Here is an aerial view of the valley.
The West Bank of the Nile
We are now on our way to visit Deir el-Bahari, which is most-famous for being a mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut.
Deir el-Bahari
See my cartouche?  It's my name in hieroglyphics written on my shirt.
Deir el-Bahari (Arabic الدير البحري ), literally meaning, "The Northern Monastery") is a complex of mortuary temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Luxor, Egypt.
The focal point of the Deir el-Bahari complex is the Djeser-Djeseru meaning "the Holy of Holies", the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. It is a colonnaded structure, which was designed and implemented by Senemut, royal steward and architect of Hatshepsut (and believed by some to be her lover)[citation needed], to serve for her posthumous worship and to honor the glory of Amun.

Djeser-Djeseru sits atop a series of colonnaded terraces, reached by long ramps that once were graced with gardens. It is built into a cliff face that rises sharply above it, and is largely considered to be one of the "incomparable monuments of ancient Egypt". It is 97 feet (30 m) tall.[
The unusual form of Hatshepsut's temple is explained by the choice of location, in the valley basin of Deir el-Bahari, surrounded by steep cliffs. It was here, in about 2050 BC, that Mentuhotep II, the founder of the Middle Kingdom, laid out his sloping, terrace-shaped mortuary temple. The pillared galleries at either side of the central ramp of the Djeser Djeseru correspond to the pillar positions on two successive levels of the Temple of Mentuhotep.

Today the terraces of Deir el-Bahari only convey a faint impression of the original intentions of Senenmut. Most of the statue ornaments are missing - the statues of Osiris in front of the pillars of the upper colonnade, the sphinx avenues in front of the court, and the standing, sitting, and kneeling figures of Hatshepsut; these were destroyed in a posthumous condemnation of this pharaoh. The architecture of the temple has been considerably altered as a result of misguided reconstruction in the early twentieth century A.D.
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Toward the end of the reign of Thutmose III and into the reign of his son, an attempt was made to remove Hatshepsut from certain historical and pharaonic records. This elimination was carried out in the most literal way possible. Her cartouches and images were chiselled off some stone walls, leaving very obvious Hatshepsut-shaped gaps in the artwork.

At the Deir el-Bahri temple, Hatshepsut's numerous statues were torn down and in many cases, smashed or disfigured before being buried in a pit. At Karnak, there even was an attempt to wall up her obelisks. While it is clear that much of this rewriting of Hatshepsut's history occurred only during the close of Thutmose III's reign, it is not clear why it happened, other than the typical pattern of self-promotion that existed among the pharaohs and their administrators, or perhaps saving money by not building new monuments for the burial of Thutmose III and instead, using the grand structures built by Hatshepsut.
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Alabaster Pottery Demo
Here's how you make an alabaster vase.  They bury the stone, and you drill-out the middle, just like this!
Alabaster Pottery Demo
A single bridge crosses the Nile
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
See the metal rebar sticking up on top of that house?  It looks unfinished, right?  Well, here's what's going on.  Each family builds a house and leaves the highest level unfinished.  Then, the next generation builds that level out, and moves in.  That generation leaves their roof unfinished for the next generation, and so on.  Over a course of several generations, you get a "high rise" dwelling.
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
Road check-points are very common.  These are mostly to keep people from speeding, but when the need calls for it, the military can be posted here to regulate and inspect traffic.
Who needs a car?
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
More scenes of the very-common street check points.
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
This is pretty-much what most of Egypt looks like.  It's the type of sandy deserts that you see in the movies.
There are also mountainous regions of the desert
The Military in Egypt is very strong and very prevalant.
Day 89 - Luxor, Egypt
Mark and Ralph Around The World
Author: Mark and Ralph Around The World (ID: 14182)
Posted: 2011-04-07 09:05 GMT+00:00
Mileage: 65.35 km
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Tags: Travel, Middle East
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The Colossi of Memnon
The Colossi of Memnon (known to locals as el-Colossat, or es-Salamat) are two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. For the past 3400 years (since 1350 BC) they have stood in the Theban necropolis, across the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor.

DescriptionThe twin statues depict Amenhotep III (fl. 14th century BC) in a seated position, his hands resting on his knees and his gaze facing eastwards (actually SSE in modern bearings) 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 (near modern-day Cairo) 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 Colossi of Memnon
The Valley of The Kings
We had an amazing visit to the famous Valley of The Kings. Photos were not permitted, so I had to grab some various shots from the Internet. This area houses no less than 63 tombs of Kings, including the much-celebrated KING TUT.
The Valley of The Kings
The Valley of The Kings
Since most of the tombs are buried deep into the mountain, the valley looks more-or-less like this all around. But, the tombs are all there, plus many more as of yet undiscovered.
The Valley of The Kings
King Tut is everyone's favorite!
The Valley of The Kings
Here is an aerial view of the valley.
The West Bank of the Nile
Deir el-Bahari
We are now on our way to visit Deir el-Bahari, which is most-famous for being a mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut.
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
See my cartouche? It's my name in hieroglyphics written on my shirt.
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari (Arabic الدير البحري ), literally meaning, "The Northern Monastery") is a complex of mortuary temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Luxor, Egypt.
Deir el-Bahari
The focal point of the Deir el-Bahari complex is the Djeser-Djeseru meaning "the Holy of Holies", the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. It is a colonnaded structure, which was designed and implemented by Senemut, royal steward and architect of Hatshepsut (and believed by some to be her lover)[citation needed], to serve for her posthumous worship and to honor the glory of Amun.

Djeser-Djeseru sits atop a series of colonnaded terraces, reached by long ramps that once were graced with gardens. It is built into a cliff face that rises sharply above it, and is largely considered to be one of the "incomparable monuments of ancient Egypt". It is 97 feet (30 m) tall.[
Deir el-Bahari
The unusual form of Hatshepsut's temple is explained by the choice of location, in the valley basin of Deir el-Bahari, surrounded by steep cliffs. It was here, in about 2050 BC, that Mentuhotep II, the founder of the Middle Kingdom, laid out his sloping, terrace-shaped mortuary temple. The pillared galleries at either side of the central ramp of the Djeser Djeseru correspond to the pillar positions on two successive levels of the Temple of Mentuhotep.

Today the terraces of Deir el-Bahari only convey a faint impression of the original intentions of Senenmut. Most of the statue ornaments are missing - the statues of Osiris in front of the pillars of the upper colonnade, the sphinx avenues in front of the court, and the standing, sitting, and kneeling figures of Hatshepsut; these were destroyed in a posthumous condemnation of this pharaoh. The architecture of the temple has been considerably altered as a result of misguided reconstruction in the early twentieth century A.D.
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Toward the end of the reign of Thutmose III and into the reign of his son, an attempt was made to remove Hatshepsut from certain historical and pharaonic records. This elimination was carried out in the most literal way possible. Her cartouches and images were chiselled off some stone walls, leaving very obvious Hatshepsut-shaped gaps in the artwork.

At the Deir el-Bahri temple, Hatshepsut's numerous statues were torn down and in many cases, smashed or disfigured before being buried in a pit. At Karnak, there even was an attempt to wall up her obelisks. While it is clear that much of this rewriting of Hatshepsut's history occurred only during the close of Thutmose III's reign, it is not clear why it happened, other than the typical pattern of self-promotion that existed among the pharaohs and their administrators, or perhaps saving money by not building new monuments for the burial of Thutmose III and instead, using the grand structures built by Hatshepsut.
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari
Alabaster Pottery Demo
Alabaster Pottery Demo
Here's how you make an alabaster vase. They bury the stone, and you drill-out the middle, just like this!
Alabaster Pottery Demo
Scenes Around Luxor
A single bridge crosses the Nile
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
See the metal rebar sticking up on top of that house? It looks unfinished, right? Well, here's what's going on. Each family builds a house and leaves the highest level unfinished. Then, the next generation builds that level out, and moves in. That generation leaves their roof unfinished for the next generation, and so on. Over a course of several generations, you get a "high rise" dwelling.
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
Road check-points are very common. These are mostly to keep people from speeding, but when the need calls for it, the military can be posted here to regulate and inspect traffic.
Scenes Around Luxor
Who needs a car?
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
More scenes of the very-common street check points.
Scenes Around Luxor
Scenes Around Luxor
The Egyptian Desert
This is pretty-much what most of Egypt looks like. It's the type of sandy deserts that you see in the movies.
The Egyptian Desert
There are also mountainous regions of the desert
Egypt - The Military
The Military in Egypt is very strong and very prevalant.
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