Hidden Luxor – Colossus of Memnon

Colossus of Memnon100_4648

The very first site you see on the west bank is the Colossus of Memnon. I am sure you have all seen this on your first visit to Luxor and it is hardly hidden but there is a lot here that is missed by the casual visitor.
04 in the car parkToday I explored the site on my mobility scooter. The only part a disabled person would not be able to get to is down the steps to view the pedestals at close quarters. But that is hardly a problem when the main point of the statues is their grandeur which is better viewed from the car park.
The trip along the road was enjoyable it reminded me of donkey rides. The pace is slower and you feel more connected to people and you most definitely notice things you would miss in a car. There were biblical scenes of farming, with flooded fields and newly planted crops

01 Newly Planted Fields02 Flooded Fields
This is the very front of the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III which is under excavation by Dr Hourig Sourouzian. Initially this site looked very unpromising but over the years the wealth of discoveries she has made has been extensive.

05 Three pylons
There were actually 3 pairs of statues in front of the three pylons not just the colossus. They have started work putting the others in place. 03 StepsYou can see the third one in between to the original two in the photo above. As you go along the main road from the colossus to the ticket office there are a number of story boards explaining the entire site with viewing areas.

05 Story Boards08 Storyboards and viewing area

This is looking at the courtyard behind the third pylon

06 CourtyardAt the northern entrance there were a pair of standing statues which have been reassembled and re-erected. Not quite in their original position as that is not available but closer to the road and visitable.

07 Northern Colossus in the Background
Turning right along the road that goes past the temples you can see the Northern colossus and again they have story boards explaining their story of discovery, reassemble and re-erection. One thing is strange, they are wearing the white crown of southern Egypt, now conventionally statues facing the north should wear the red crown of northern Egypt.

It is worth noting the size of this temple and how small the temple of Merenptah is in comparison. It is tucked away in the corner behind the northern statues. If the northern statues have been found there is a strong likelihood there is a set of southern statues and they might be across the road and in the middle of the field to the south. They may also answer the conundrum of why the northern colossus are wearing southern crowns. It is all very interesting.

By this time I was very hot and very thirsty and I came across on of the road side water stations. These are put by locals for the refreshment of passers by. It is part of the hospitality of the Egyptians and it was icy cold and very refreshing.

10 Cold drink