Egypt reopens the ancient “Sphinx Boulevard” for centuries after hosting a parade for the gods

Sphinx Boulevard
The Sphinx Boulevard, lined with statues of the Sphinx and the Lamb, connects Luxor and the temples of Karnak in Egypt.

Getty / iStockphoto

Cairo —As Americans settled down to enjoy the old-fashioned tradition of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, about 6,000 miles away, Egypt sought to revive a unique tradition that was probably not seen for thousands of years. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities held a grand ceremony on Thursday night to commemorate the reopening of Ancient Sphinx Street in Luxor.

The sacred road, formerly known as the “Road of God,” connects the Karnak Temple in the north with Luxor in the south. Over 1,050 sphinx and ram statues line the sides of a 1.7-mile long road paved with sandstone blocks. They have been buried in the sand of the desert for centuries, but slowly, over the years, renowned Egyptian archaeologists have brought them back to the light of day.

Grand Opening of Sphinx Avenue in Luxor | NS
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So far, 309 statues have been excavated in good condition, but the number could increase as the excavation progresses, Dr. Mustafa Arsagil, director of the Karnak Temple, told CBS News. ..

Who made it?

Like much of the ancient world, Sphinx Street has not given up all its secrets.

It’s unclear who started building the road. Some scientists have suggested that it can be traced back to Queen Hatshepsut about 3,500 years ago, but Dr. Arsagil said the researchers “archaeological evidence on the path to support this theory.” Says he did not find.

Some believe it was built under Amenhotep III hundreds of years later, but Dr. Arsagil says the road relics associated with the pharaoh were later moved there. He suspects that the Sphinx Street was started by Egypt’s most famous ancient ruler, who took the throne about 3,000 years ago.

“The oldest monument on the road we found dates back to King Tutankhamun, who built the first 300 meters from the 10th pylon of the Karnak Temple to the gate of the Mut Temple,” he told CBS News. ..

Entrance to Luxor Temple in Luxor, Egypt
The Sphinx Boulevard heads to the Nile Valley of Egypt, Luxor, the Luxor Temple, and the ancient Egyptian colossal statue at the entrance to the court of Ramses II.


Anyone who started the project has a broad agreement that most of the roads, which are about 2,400 yards long, were built during the reign of Nectanebo I, the founder of the Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt about 2,400 years ago. there is.

Parade route

Every year, in the second month of the Nile flood season, the ancient Egyptians held a festival called “Opet” to celebrate the fertility of the gods and the pharaohs. The priests carried three sacred ships on their shoulders and carried the statue of Theban Triad, the gods of Amunle, his spouse Mutt and his son Khonsu from Karnak to Luxor.

The trip was done on foot along Sphinx Street or by boat along the Nile.

The festival lasted days or weeks by the rulers of the time, after which the statues were brought back to Karnak.

Sphinx Street (Luxor, Egypt)
The ancient Sphinx Street is located in Luxor, Egypt.

Getty / iStockphoto

Over time, the road was abandoned and buried under the sand. However, in 1949, the first eight Sphinx statues were discovered in front of the Luxor Temple by Egyptian archaeologist Dr. Zakaria Ghoneim.

Archaeological excavations have been on and off for years as archaeologists discover and map ancient roads. They had to demolish several buildings that emerged along the route over the next thousands of years, including mosques, churches, and many homes.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities was praised for the sights of the royal family last April. The mummy paraded the road To promote the city of Luxor as one of the largest open museums in the world, the government held a ceremony on Thursday at the same scale.

The event sought to recreate the spirit of the ancient Opet Festival and included music, dance and light shows.

Egypt reopens the ancient “Sphinx Boulevard” for centuries after hosting a parade for the gods

Source link Egypt reopens the ancient “Sphinx Boulevard” for centuries after hosting a parade for the gods

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