These two gigantic, 59-foots tall statues are the first sight that greets visitors who take the ferry across from the East Bank. They were made famous in antiquity by a mysterious sound emitted from one of them each sunrise. Scientists now think that this sound was caused by air passing through pores in the stone as it was warmed in the sunlight, but there is no way to confirm this since the sound stopped centuries ago.
Regardless of its cause, the sound was the source of the statues’ name as it caused the Greeks to believe that the statues were of the immortal Memnon.
Archaeologists believe that the temple was quickly ruined by repeated plundering and because, unlike other monuments, it was located within the floodplain of the Nile. The limestone that the Egyptians used in construction was eroded away by centuries of exposure to the annual floodwaters.