The Colossi of Memnon are two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned in Egypt during Dynasty XVIII. His reign was a period of unprecedented prosperity and artistic splendour, when Egypt reached the peak of its artistic and international power. For the past 3,400 years (since 1350 BCE), the statues have stood in the Theban Necropolis, located west of the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor, known to the ancients as Waset.
Memnon was a hero of the Trojan War, a King of Ethiopia who led his armies from Africa into Asia Minor to help defend the beleaguered city but was ultimately slain by Achilles. Memnon (whose name means "the Steadfast" or "Resolute") was said to be the son of Eos, the goddess of dawn. He was associated with the colossi because of the reported cry at dawn of the northern statue, which became known as the Colossus of Memnon. Eventually, the entire Theban Necropolis became generally referred to as the Memnonium making him "Ruler of the west" as in the case of the god Osiris who was called chief of the west.
The original function of the Colossi was to stand guard at the entrance to Amenhotep's memorial temple: a massive construct 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 opulent in Egypt. Covering a total of 86 acres, even later rivals such as Ramesses II's Ramesseum or Ramesses III's Medinet Habu were unable to match it in area; even the Temple of Karnak, as it stood in Amenhotep's time, was smaller. #tbt 🤴🏿🙌🏿👌🏿