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Colossus of Ramesses II
Silver gelatin on glass
23.5 x 29.5 cm
Epigraphic Survey, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Colossus of Ramesses II at Luxor Temple.
Hemmed in by massive papyrus-bundle columns, this granite colossus was originally carved for Amenhotep III and two centuries later was recut for Ramesses II. Standing by the left leg of the king is Queen Nefertari. Of the eleven surviving standing colossi in the first court at Luxor Temple, five are statues of Amenhotep III that Ramesses II "renewed" for his courtyard. The reuse of the monuments of an earlier ruler was not always a hostile usurpation or the outcome of damnatio memoriae, but could also be a recutting of an ancient monument in order to renew the creative powers of the temple.

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