Colossal Sculptures Around the World
This is a list of colossal sculptures that were carved in situ (or “in place”), sometimes referred to as “living rock”. This list includes two colossal stones that were intended to be moved; however they were never broken free of the quarry in which they were carved and therefore they would be considered carved in situ. Most of these were carved in ancient times.
In most cases, especially in India, the sculptures were carved out of “soft” rock like basalt or volcanic tuff. However in some cases they were carved out of harder rock like sandstone, or even granite in the case of the unfinished obelisk. The Egyptians may have been limited to using 10 pound dolerite balls to chip away at the granite. Dynamite was used in the carving of Mount Rushmore, another of the few colossal sculptures that was carved out of granite.
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Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt – limestone
It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 metres (241 ft) long, 19.3 metres (63 ft) wide, and 20.22 m (66.34 ft) high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafra (c. 2558–2532 BC).
Edgar Cayce predicted the discovery of an Atlantean “Hall of Records” between the Sphinx and the Nile with a connecting entrance under the right, front paw of the Sphinx.
The following segment was taken from Cayce, Edgar “On Atlantis” New York: Warner Books, 1968.
…It would be well if this entity were to seek either of the three phases of the ways and means in which those records of the activities of individuals were preserved — the one in the Atlantean land, that sank, which will rise and is rising again; another in the place of the records that leadeth from the Sphinx to the hall of records, in the Egyptian land; and another in the Aryan or Yucatan land, where the temple there is overshadowing same. (2012-1; Sep 25, 1939) – from page 146
…the entity joined with those who were active in putting the records in forms that were partially of the old characters of the ancient or early Egyptian, and part in the newer form of the Atlanteans. These may be found, especially when the house or tomb of records is opened, in a few years from now. (2537-1; Jul 17, 1941) – p.146
…[the entity] was among the first to set the records that are yet to be discovered or yet to be had of those activities in the Atlantean land, and for the preservation of data that is yet to be found from the chambers of the way between the Sphinx and the pyramid of records.
(3575-2; Jan 20, 1944) – p.147
Q.2: Give in detail what the sealed room contains.
A.2: A record of Atlantis from the beginning of those periods when the Spirit took form, or began the encasements in that land; and the developments of the peoples throughout their sojourn; together with the record of the first destruction, and the changes that took place in the land; with the record of the sojournings of the peoples and their varied activities in other lands, and a record of the meetings of all the nations or lands, for the activities in the destruction of Atlantis; and the building of the pyramid of initiation, together with whom, what, and where the opening of the records would come, that are as copies from the sunken Atlantis. For with the change, it [Atlantis] must rise again. In position, this lies — as the sun rises from the waters — as the line of the shadows (or light) falls between the paws of the Sphinx; that was set later as the sentinel or guard and which may not be entered from the connecting chambers from the Sphinx’s right paw until the time has been fulfilled when the changes must be active in this sphere of man’s experience. Then [it lies] between the Sphinx and the river. (378-16; Oct 29, 1933) – p.147-8
This excerpt was taken from Edgar Cayce on Atlantis , New York: Warner Books, 1968
The Great Sphinx in about 1880, partly under the sand.
Henri Béchard (active 1870s & 80s); ‘Le Sphinx Armachis, Caire’ (The Sphinx Armachis, Cairo), about 1880
The Great Pyramid and the Sphinx by Francis Frith,1858. Source: Wikipedia
The Great Shpinx and 2nd Pyramid of Giza.
Photo courtesy of J.Razniak, Copyright by World-Mysteries.com
Great Sphinx in Giza. Photo Author: Cary Bass
- Great Sphinx in Giza
- Hall of Records? – by Patrick Geryl
- Mataha Expedition 2008: Labyrinth of Egypt at Hawara
Abu Simbel, Egypt – sandstone
The rock-cut facade is decorated with two groups of colossi that are separated by the large gateway. The statues, slightly more than ten meters high, are of the king and his queen. On either side of the portal are two statues of the king, wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt (south colossus) and the double crown (north colossus); these are flanked by statues of the queen and the king. What is truly surprising is that for the only time in Egyptian art, the statues of the king and his consort are equal in size.
Great Temple of Ramesses II (left) and Small Temple of Nefertari (right).
Author: Holger Weinandt
Abu Simbel Great Temple of Ramesses II. May 30, 2007. Source: wikipedia
Four colossal 20 meter statues of the pharaoh with the double Atef crown of Upper and Lower Egypt decorate the facade of the temple, which is 35 meters wide and is topped by a frieze with 22 baboons, worshipers of the sun and flank the entrance. The colossal statues were sculptured directly from the rock in which the temple was located before it was moved.
The unfinished obelisk at Aswan, Egypt – granite
If finished, this obelisk would have measured around 42 m (approximately 137 feet) and would have weighed nearly 1,200 tons.
The unfinished obelisk of Assuan (Aswan). Source: Wikipedia
Church of Saint George, Lalibela, Ethiopia – volcanic tuff
Carved from solid red volcanic rock in the 12th century, it is the most well known and last built of the eleven churches in the Lalibela area, and has been referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. Lalibela, King of Ethiopia, sought to recreate Jerusalem, and structured the churches landscape and religious sites in such a way as to achieve such a feat. “The churches at Lalibela are clustered in two major groups, one representing the earthly Jerusalem, and the other representing the heavenly Jerusalem. Located directly between them is a trench representing the River Jordan”. The dimensions of the trench are 25 meters by 25 meters by 30 meters, and there is a small baptismal pool outside the church, which stands in an artificial trench.
Still a place of pilgrimage for members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Bet Giorgis (St. George’s) now forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela“.
St. George Church, carved from solid rock in the shape of a cross. Source: Wikipedia
St. George’s church (by George Steinmetz)
- Colossal Sculptures of Asia, Europe and Americas
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