There are many ancient treasures to be uncovered in Egypt. The latest was a Sphinx-lined road in Luxor that led to the temple of Mut, according to the Egyptian government.
Mut was an ancient Egyptian mother goddess. She is wife to Egyptian god Amun. It is believed that every year, ancient Egyptians paraded along this path in honor of Amun. The Romans later used the road, which was next renovated by the Ptolemic Queen Cleopatra.
Sphinxes are mythological creatures, with the bodies of a feline and a human head. Experts believe the first sphinx in Egypt was one that depicted Queen Hetepheres II. And the largest is the Great Sphinx of Giza, on the west bank of the Nile River.
Egyptian archaeologists unearthed more of Sphinx Alley last month. In all, there are 12 new sphinxes that were found along the road. The road runs along an already discovered Kabash path that connects the temples of Luxor and Karnak. This has come to be called Sphinx Alley. The sphinxes, most of which are missing heads, are inscribed with the name Nectabo I, who was the founder of the last Pharaonic dynasty. Nectabo I died in 362 BC. Sphinx Alley was built by Pharaoh Amenhotep III to connect the Karnak temple to the Luxor Temple. Amenhotep ruled some 3,400 years ago.
“This discovery is very important since it completes the sphinx avenue which links the temple of Luxor in the south with the temples of the Karnak in the north; it was also part of the processional way of the god of gods, Amun-Re, when he was leaving his temple of Luxor and visiting his other temple at Karnak. This road, as you call it, was built in the 30th dynasty, very close to the end of pharaonic civilization. It also confirmed the theories of Egyptologists about the extension of this way from Luxor to Karnak,” explains Dr. Hussein Bassir, a director at Egypt´s Supreme Council of Antiquities, a government organization charged with the protection and promotion of the cultural heritage of Egypt.
While many are excited about the find, according to Egyptologist Dieter Arnold, since it is already part of another find, this is now actually a new discovery. “The Sphinx-Allee (Alley) from Karnak to Luxor has been well-known for many years and a considerable part of it was excavated before,” Arnold, author of The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egyptian Architecture and curator of Egyptian Art for New York´s Metropolitan Museum of Art, points out. “There is no such thing as a discovery! New are the efforts to excavate the whole length of the alley as a showpiece for tourists. Many new sphinxes will therefore be exposed in the coming months. One can only hope that Egypt has the means to document and protect this enormous monument. It will certainly not be easy!”
According to Dr. Bassir, Sphinx Alley is just a fraction of the discoveries yet to be made in Egypt. “We only discovered around 30% of ancient Egyptian monuments; Egyptian soil has so many things that will be uncovered someday,” he says.