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Egyptian authorities unveil renovated 3,000-year-old Sphinx Avenue in Luxor

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Egyptian authorities have unearthed the renovated ancient promenade in the city of Luxor dating back 3,000 years.

It is the latest government project undertaken to uncover the country’s archaeological treasures.

Egypt has struggled to revive its tourism industry, hit by the political unrest of the years following the popular uprising of 2011 that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ancient walkway known as Sphinx Avenue, but also called the Road of the Ram and the Path of the Gods connects the famous temples of Karnak and Luxor to what was the city of Thebes, which was the capital of Egypt in antiquity.

It is believed that it was the way pilgrims trespassed to visit temples and pay homage to their deities.

Dressed in statues of rams and sphinxes on pedestals, the ancient road to Luxor, located on the banks of the Nile River and located about 650 kilometers south of Cairo, stretches for several kilometers and has been under excavation for more than 50 years.

Fireworks on an Egyptian archeological site
Fireworks lit up the sky during the reopening ceremony of Avenue of Sphinx.(AP: Mohamed El-Shahed)

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and other senior officials attended a ceremony late Thursday evening, which nodded for an ancient autumn celebration.

Mohamed Abd el-Badei, a senior Egyptian archeological official, said the oldest ruins along the trail are six structures built by Queen Hatshepsut dating back to 1400 BC.

He said that, according to the hieroglyphs on the walls of one of the temples, the ancient festival known as Opetand was marked by parades and dancers to celebrate the generosity that the annual Nile floods brought to the fields.

There was also a flotilla of sacred boats that set out for the temple, according to transcripts.

The event is the second brilliant ceremony this year to honor Egypt’s heritage.

In April, the government organized a procession to mark the transfer of some of the famous mummies from the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo to the newly built museum south of the Egyptian capital.

AP

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