Egypt, Nov 27: Egypt opened the 3,000-year-old Avenue of Sphinxes to the public in an extravagant ceremony in the southern city of Luxor that follows decades of excavation efforts.
While Americans feasted their eyes on a full-blown Thanksgiving Day parade after a two-year Covid absence, nearly 6,000 miles away Egypt revived a very different cultural tradition that has not been seen for three thousand years.
The ancient walkway, nearly two miles long and about 250 feet wide, was once named “The Path of God.” It connects the Temple of Luxor with the Temple of Karnak, just up the Nile River to the north.
A parade that began after nightfall in Egypt and around lunchtime ET proceeded along the length of the avenue, which is lined on either side by over 600 ram-headed statues and traditional sphinxes, statues with a lion’s body and a human’s head.
The extravagant march included participants in pharaonic dress, a symphony orchestra, lighting effects, professional dancers, and boats on the Nile, horse-drawn carriages, and many more.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi attended the city-wide spectacle.
The road was buried under sand for centuries until Egyptian archaeologist Zakaria Ghineim discovered the first eight sphinx statues in front of the Luxor Temple in 1949.
The effort to excavate and restore the site persisted over the next seven decades and was interrupted numerous times by political upheavals, like the 2011 Arab Spring uprising which overthrew the country’s longtime autocratic ruler Hosni Mubarak and led to several years of civil unrest.
— Riza Seref (@RizaSeref) November 25, 2021