Many people have seen drawings of the Colossus in books
about Greek history and mythology, usually shown straddling the entrance to
Rhodes Harbor with its great legs on either side. But no one is sure what the
statue looked like, whether it was of stone or, as is usually accepted, of
metal... or whether one of its hands was clenched. A famous engraving of the
Colossus, made by a sculptor called Rottiers in the 18th century, clearly shows
the fingers of both hands were spread.
But this - like so many others - is an artist's impression. No accurate illustrations of the
mysterious giant sculpture exist.
The British Museum's expert, Dr Susan Walker, supports the view that the Colossus was made of
both stone and bronze, so other stones found off Rhodes may well be part of the genuine article.
"The bronze was sheet metal over an armature of iron bars set into blocks," she said.
The head of the statue is said to have been framed with rays
of the sun with the body dressed in a chlamys, the tunic of the ancient gods.
Its head was more than 5 m high while one of the statue's thumbs could have
been circled by the two arms of an average man. The shoulders of the Colossus
were estimated at 10 m broad.
The base pedestal must have been at least 18 meters in
diameter and either circular or octagonal.