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medinet habu


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The current structure is mostly made up of the second court and the startlingly large colossus. THis was a seated statue, but still 18m (60 ft) tall and weighing about 1000 tons. The Colossi of Memnon are larger, but only because they retain their pedestals. All that remains here is the fallen head and shoulders and fragments of the statue, including feet and a knee. There were originally two colossi -- the other was aquired by Belzoni in 1816. This is the largest statue in Egypt (freestanding -- the Sphinx is much larger, of course). The ear of the statue is 1.2 m (3 1/2 ft) tall, and the index finger is 1m (3 1/4 ft)

Inside on the north wall of the second court is a freize of Ramesses "signature battle", the Battle of Kadesh. Nearly all of his monuments glorify this battle -- which most certainly happened, but most likely not with Ramesses II's particular version.

The hypostyle hall had 48 columns although only 29 still stand. Some have papryus shafts and lotus capitals, the outer ring of columns have lotus-bud capitals. Beyond it there are two smaller hypostyle halls, one with a fabulous astronomincal ceiling. This may be the earliest known example of a 12 month calendar, It probably represents a solar year.



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