On the way from Luxor to the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank of the Nile one passes two huge statues known as the Colossi of Memnon. The statues are nearly 60 feet tall, and once stood at the entrance to the funerary temple of Amenhotep III (also known as Amenophis III). With their crowns, each statue would have been about 66 feet tall. Amenhotep III ruled Egypt during the 18th Dynasty (14th century B.C.).
During the time of the Roman Empire the statues were mistakenly associated with “Memnon, son of Eos and Tithonus, who was killed by Achilles during the Trojan War” (Baedeker’s Egypt).
Travelers since the time of the Emperor Nero have carved their name in these sandstone statues.
The photo below was made January 17, 2011. A fence may be seen in the background where archaeologists were working to restore new statues that have been found over the past few years.
I was able to get a few photos of the area where the workers were restoring some of the statues recently uncovered. Notice some items covered with white, and others lined up on the right side of our photo.
In the next photo you will see several pieces covered. One shows the distinct appearance of a giant arm in my original photo.
In addition to what I was able to see, the Luxor Times reported the unveiling of yet another new statute that has been restored. Here is one of the photo from that report. The brief news report with several photos may be read here.