Monday, 20 June 2022

Avenue of Sphinxes

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities held a grand ceremony to mark the reopening of the ancient Avenue of Sphinxes in the city of Luxor. The sacred road, once named "The Path of God," connects the Temples of Karnak in the north with Luxor in the south. Paved in sandstone blocks, the 1.7-mile-long road is lined on both sides with more than 1,050 statues of sphinxes and rams. They've spent centuries buried under the desert sands, but slowly, over many years, Egypt's renowned archaeologists are bringing them back into the light of day. The avenue that connects the temples is about 3,000 years old.
Karnak is believed to have been built as a tribute to Amun-Ra. Many of Karnak’s sphinxes have ram heads and lion bodies and are intended as guardians to the ancient temple.
At the other end of the avenue, closer to Luxor Temple, there are also several human-headed sphinxes. Most of the surviving sphinxes date to the time of King Nectanebo, who reigned between 380 and 362 BCE. During its heyday, the avenue is believed to have been lined with 1,350 sphinxes.