Egypt’s sphinxes rise

Buried for centuries beneath shifting desert sands (and later urban sprawl), Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed an ancient sphinx-lined road. This amazing discovery is the last section of the “Avenue of Sphinxes,” a 2.7 km (1.7-mile) alley that connects the grand temples of Luxor and Karnak on the east bank of the Nile River. That’s some major find!

Avenue of Sphinxes, Egypt excavations,  archaeological digs, antiquities

The Chief of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, said that the discovery occurred during restoration of the avenue. According to Mansour Boraik, Supervisor of Luxor Antiquities, this is the first time a new road that runs from east to west toward the Nile has been found.

This sandstone road is lined with statues of the mythical beast with the head of a man and the body of a lion, although many of the statues were missing their heads. Archaeologists have discovered twelve sphinxes thus far.

Hawass stressed that the road has an important history. “The King used this road for religious processions. Along this way, the sacred boat of Amun, king of the gods, traveled to visit his wife, Mut, at Luxor.” Mr Hawass also speculated “…that Cleopatra brought Mark Antony or Caesar on a journey up the Nile River to visit Sphinx Avenue.”

By March 2011, the entire Avenue of Sphinxes is expected to be restored. Another portion of ancient civilization pieced together. Very exciting, one more reason (not that I needed one) to visit Egypt!

Avenue of Sphinxes, Egypt excavations,  archaeological digs, antiquities

More on Egyptian digs: The curious g wrote Eavesdropping on a dig a while back. I remain curious about the progress. To read the most current entries on the Mut Expedition Dig Diary, click here.

Photo: The newly discovered road., courtesy of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

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