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Egypt celebrates the reopening of the 3,000-year-old Sphinx Street


Egypt reopened a sacred road surrounded by thousands of statues on Thursday, which was used as a path for the walk of the gods 3,000 years ago.

Dubbed Sphinx Street, this 1.7-mile stretch of more than 1,050 statues of sphinxes and rams connects the temples of Karnak in the north with Luxor in the south.

The oldest antiquities along the path are six buildings built by Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt’s only pharaoh, dating back to 1400 BC, said Mohamed Abdel-Badi, a senior Egyptian antiquities official.

The path, paved with blocks of sandstone, was used every year for a festival called “Opet” which took place in the second month of the Nile flood seasons.

Hieroglyphs on the walls of one of the temples indicate that the holiday was marked by parades and dancers celebrating the heavy flood brought into the fields.

The priests carried three divine boats on their shoulders, and moved the statues of the Theban triad – the goddess Amun-Ra, his consort Mut and their son Khonsu from one end to the other.

The enticing ceremony began at 12:30 p.m., as President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi reenacted an ancient holiday, along with other senior officials.

Hundreds of singers and dancers dressed in traditional ancient Egyptian clothing walked out of the Karnak temple in a glorious procession, some carrying giant golden boats on their shoulders, as priests did thousands of years ago.

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Live: The Sphinx Street Parade in Egypt

Egypt reopened a sacred road lined with thousands of statues on Thursday, which was used as a path for the walk of the gods 3,000 years ago.

The Romans used the methods of the Sphinx later and it is believed that they were renovated by Cleopatra, the legendary Ptolemaic queen who left her cartouche – an inscribed hieroglyphic book bearing her name – in the temple at Luxor.

The tradition began to fade over time, until the road was completely abandoned and eventually buried under the sand.

Human eyes did not see the Great Sphinx until 1949, when Egyptian archaeologist Dr. Zakaria Ghoneim discovered eight, ABC News reports.

From 1958 to 1961, another 17 statues were unveiled and then another 55 statues from 1961 to 1964.

Dubbed Sphinx Street, this 1.7-mile stretch of more than 1,050 statues of sphinxes and rams connects the temples of Karnak in the north with Luxor in the south.

Dubbed Sphinx Street, this 1.7-mile stretch of more than 1,050 statues of sphinxes and rams connects the temples of Karnak in the north with Luxor in the south.

Hundreds of singers and dancers dressed in ancient Egyptian clothes walked out of the Karnak temple in a glorious procession, some carrying giant golden boats on their shoulders, as priests did thousands of years ago.

Hundreds of singers and dancers dressed in ancient Egyptian clothes walked out of the Karnak temple in a glorious procession, some carrying giant golden boats on their shoulders, as priests did thousands of years ago.

Most of the original figurines have been found and are depicted in three different forms, one of which includes a ram's head

Most of the original figurines have been found and are depicted in three different forms, one of which includes a ram’s head

The walkway was completely delimited from 1984 to 2000, which resulted in significant excavation work on the site.

However, this meant demolishing hundreds of homes, mosques, and a 115-year-old Evangelical church to restore Sphinx Street.

Most of the original statues have been restored and depicted in three different forms, the first being the body of a lion with a ram’s head that was erected approximately 1,000 feet between the Karnak Temple and the Court of Mut during the reign of the New Kingdom ruler Tutankhamun, who ruled about 3,300 years ago.

The second is a full ram statue erected in a remote area during the reign of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Amenhotep III, from 1391-1353 BC, before it was later moved to the Khonsu temple at Karnak complex.

Hieroglyphs on the walls of a temple indicate that the holiday was marked by parades and dancers celebrating the wonderful flood brought to the fields.

Hieroglyphs on the walls of a temple indicate that the holiday was marked by parades and dancers celebrating the wonderful flood brought to the fields.

The path, paved with blocks of sandstone, was used every year for a festival called ‘Opt’ held in the second month of the Nile flood seasons.

The celebration kicked off Thursday with the golden parade of the pharaoh on April 3 (pictured) as a procession of 22 ancient tombs made a 40-mile journey through the streets of Cairo.  A total of 18 kings and four queens, who all died more than 3,000 years ago, have been moved to a new museum in the southern district of the capital.

The celebration kicked off Thursday with the golden parade of the pharaoh on April 3 (pictured) as a procession of 22 ancient tombs made a 40-mile journey through the streets of Cairo. A total of 18 kings and four queens, who all died more than 3,000 years ago, have been moved to a new museum in the southern district of the capital.

The The third figure is the iconic Sphinx that was built during the reign of Nectanebo I (380-362 BC).

The Karnak Temple was built around 2,000 to 4,000 years ago and is dedicated to Amun-Ra, the ancient sun god. It covers an area of ​​more than 250 acres.

Luxor Temple was built about 3,400 years ago by Amenhotep III, and was used as a site of continuous religious worship from the ancient Egyptians to Coptic Christians and later Muslims.

The celebration kicked off Thursday with the pharaoh’s golden parade on April 3 as a procession of 22 ancient tombs made a 40-mile journey through the streets of Cairo.

The 18 kings and four queens, who all died more than 3,000 years ago, have been moved to a new museum in the southern district of the capital.

Each mummy was placed inside its own golden chariot, which bears the name of the royal family on the outside.

The carriages are designed with shock absorbers to ensure that ancient remains remain during the journey.

The ceremony took place along the Nile Corniche from the Egyptian Museum overlooking Tahrir Square to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat.



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