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news.com.au 26 Nov, 2021 01:30 am

Avenue of the Sphinxes: Egypt holds lavish ceremony to mark reopening of 3000-year-old walkway

Avenue of the Sphinxes: Egypt holds lavish ceremony to mark reopening of 3000-year-old walkway
Egypt has celebrated the public reopening of an ancient walkway once used by the pharaohs with an extravagant revival of a cultural tradition not seen for thousands of years.

It connects the Temple of Luxor with the Temple of Karnak to the north.Picture: Khaled Desouki/AFP Efforts to excavate the road have persisted through more than seven decades of political upheaval, since the first of the sphinx statues were discovered under the sand outside Luxor Temple by Egyptian archaeologist Mohammed Zakaria Ghoneim in 1949.The ceremony would involve a ritual procession carrying ceremonial statues of the gods from Karnak Temple to Luxor Temple, where the marriage ceremony would take place.Picture: Islam Safwat/Getty Images “The Opet Festival will be held, as it was in the past at the time of the Pharaohs,” Ali Abu Dashish, an Egyptian archaeologist and member of the Archaeological Union, told NBC News ahead of the event.

h4 Stunning find after seven-month Egypt dig Egypt’s old king rises again Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian archaeologist who worked on the restoration from 2005 until work was halted by the 2011 uprising, told NBC that Thursday’s festival sent a message to the world that, “Egypt is safe and we invite everyone to come back to Egypt.The Avenue of the Sphinxes, which is lined on either side with more than 600 ram-headed and traditional sphinx statues, is believed to have been built to mark the Opet Festival, an annual event at which the pharaoh would undergo a ritual marriage ceremony with the deity Amun.

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