Egypt celebrates TODAY the grand reopening of the 3,000-year-old Avenue of Sphinxes

Egypt celebrates TODAY the grand reopening of the 3,000-year-old Avenue of Sphinxes

  • The Avenue of the Sphinxes was used by ancient Egyptians to pray to the gods over 3000 years ago
  • The sacred 2.7-mile road will reopen Thursday in a ceremony to be held at 12:30 p.m. ET. begins
  • It features over 1050 statues of sphinxes and rams connecting the temples of Karnak in the north to Luxor in the south
  • The path was used every year for a festival called ‘Opet’ which was held in the second month of the Nile’s flood season

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Egypt will unveil a sacred road with thousands of statues on Thursday, which was used as a processional route for the gods 3,000 years ago.

Called the Avenue of Sphinxes, this 2.7-mile stretch has more than 1,050 statues of sphinxes and rams connecting the temples of Karnak in the north to Luxor in the south.

The glitzy ceremony kicks off at 12:30pm, with a live stream starting an hour earlier.

The path, paved with sandstone blocks, was used every year for a festival called ‘Opet’ held in the second month of the Nile’s flooding season.

Priests carried on their shoulders three divine boats, which carried images of the Theban Triad – the gods of Amun-Re, his consort Mut and their son Khonsu from one end to the other.

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Egypt unveils a sacred road with thousands of statues on Thursday, which was used as a procession route for the gods 3,000 years ago

The road was later used by the Romans and is believed to have been renovated by Cleopatra, the legendary Ptolemaic queen who left her cartouche – an engraved hieroglyph bearing her name – at the temple at Luxor.

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

It wasn’t until 1949 that people’s eyes rejoiced at the Sphinx statues – eight were discovered by Egyptian archaeologist Dr Zakaria Ghoneim, ABC news reports.

From 1958 to 1961, 17 more images were uncovered and then 55 more from 1961 to 1964.

Called the Avenue of Sphinxes, this 2.7-mile stretch has over 1,050 statues of sphinxes and rams connecting the temples of Karnak in the north to Luxor in the south

Called the Avenue of Sphinxes, this 2.7-mile stretch has over 1,050 statues of sphinxes and rams connecting the temples of Karnak in the north to Luxor in the south

The glitzy ceremony kicks off at 12:30pm, with a livestream starting an hour early

The glitzy ceremony kicks off at 12:30pm, with a livestream starting an hour early

The entire walkway was identified from 1984 to 2000, leading to a major excavation of the site.

However, this meant that hundreds of houses, mosques and a 115-year-old Evangelical church had to be demolished to restore the Avenue of the Sphinxes.

Most of the original statues have been recovered and are depicted in three different forms, the first being the body of a lion with a ram’s head that appeared during the reign of New Kingdom ruler Tutankhamun, who reigned about 3,300 years ago.

The second is a statue of a full ram erected in a remote area during the reign of Amenhotep III of the 18th Dynasty, from 1391-1353 BC, before being later moved to the Temple of Khonsu in the Karnak complex.

Priests carried on their shoulders three divine boats, which carried images of the Theban Triad - the gods of Amun-Re, his consort Mut and their son Khonsu from one end to the other.  People walk on the site of the ancient Egyptian temple of Luxor (photo)

Priests carried on their shoulders three divine boats, which carried images of the Theban Triad – the gods of Amun-Re, his consort Mut and their son Khonsu from one end to the other. People walk on the site of the ancient Egyptian temple of Luxor (photo)

The path, paved with sandstone blocks, was used every year for a festival called 'Opet' which was held in the second month of the Nile's flood season

The path, paved with sandstone blocks, was used every year for a festival called ‘Opet’ which was held in the second month of the Nile’s flood season

Thursday's celebration was sparked by the Pharaoh's Golden Parade on April 3 (pictured), in which a procession of 22 ancient tombs makes a 40-mile journey through the streets of Cairo.  A total of 18 kings and four queens, all of whom died more than 3,000 years ago, have been transferred to a new museum in the capital's southern region.

Thursday’s celebration was sparked by the Pharaoh’s Golden Parade on April 3 (pictured), in which a procession of 22 ancient tombs makes a 40-mile journey through the streets of Cairo. A total of 18 kings and four queens, all of whom died more than 3,000 years ago, have been transferred to a new museum in the capital’s southern region.

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

Thursday’s celebration was sparked by the Golden Parade of the Pharaoh on April 3, in which a procession of 22 ancient tombs makes a 40-mile journey through the streets of Cairo.

A total of 18 kings and four queens, all of whom died more than 3,000 years ago, were transferred to a new museum in the capital’s southern region.

Each mummy was placed in their own golden carriage with the name of the royal family on the outside.

The carriages were designed with shock absorbers to ensure that the ancient remains survived the journey.

The ceremony meandered 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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