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article imageAncient road and 12 sphinxes discovered at Luxor

By Subir Ghosh     Nov 16, 2010 in World
Egyptologists have unearthed twelve ancient sphinx statues at Luxor. The sculptures were found at a newly discovered part of the Avenue of Sphinxes, an ancient road that leads from the temple at Karnak to the temple of the goddess Mut at Luxor.
The discovery was made as part of excavation and restoration works at the site by the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), according to Egypt's Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni.
The statues of the mythical creatures, inscribed with the name of Pharaoh Nectanebo I, were found in the last sector of the Avenue of Sphinxes, a part of the sacred pathway that – although its existence was known to historians from ancient texts – had never been precisely located by archaeologists.
According to Mansour Boraik, Supervisor of Luxor Antiquities, this is the first time a new road that runs from east to west – towards the Nile – has been found. The total length of the road to the Nile is estimated to be about 600 metres. About 20 metres have been excavated so far. These were built from sandstone brought in from the quarries at Gebel Silsila, north of Aswan.
“The discovery is not located within the known road of the Avenue of the Sphinxes between Karnak and Luxor Temples, but instead at the end of the newly discovered road of Nectanebo I,” explained Dr Zahi Hawass, Secretary-General of the SCA. Along this way the sacred boat of Amun, king of the gods, travelled on the god’s annual trip to visit his wife, Mut, at Luxor temple, he said.
The newly discovered road of Nectanebo I in Luxor. The remains of the statues of sphinxes can be
The newly discovered road of Nectanebo I in Luxor. The remains of the statues of sphinxes can be seen down the centre.
Supreme Council of Antiquities, Egypt
The Avenue of Sphinxes is about 2,700 meters long and 76 meters wide. Although the path was already in use during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut, it was the 30th Dynasty Pharaoh Nectenabo I (380 to 362 BC) who constructed the avenue itself. He lined it with 1350 sphinxes, all inscribed with his name.
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