Avenue of Sphinxes

long avenue which connects Karnak Temple with Luxor Temple having been uncovered in the ancient city of Thebes (modern Luxor), with sphinxes and ram-headed statues lined up on both flanks.

Construction of the Avenue of Sphinxes began during the New Kingdom era and was completed during the Late period during the reign of 30th Dynasty ruler Nectanebo I (380-362 B.C.), the road was later buried under layers of sand over the centuries.

In Description de l’Égypte (1809) the Avenue of Sphinxes is described as 2,000 meters long, lined with over 600 sphinxes.

Georges Daressy reported in 1893 that at Luxor the road is buried and couldn’t be excavated because it lied below the groundwater level, whereas at Karnak nearly a kilometer of it is visible.

The first trace of the avenue (at Luxor) was found in 1949 when Egyptian archaeologist Mohammed Zakaria Ghoneim discovered eight statues near the Luxor Temple with 17 more statues uncovered from 1958 to 1961 and 55 unearthed from 1961 to 1964 all within a perimeter of 250 meters.

On November 25th 2021, the avenue was opened to the public having concluded restoration works that took over seven decades to complete. The march included participants in pharaonic dress, a symphony orchestra, lighting effects, professional dancers, boats on the Nile, horse drawn carriages. Three golden pharaonic-style model boats dedicated to the ancient sun god Amun Ra, moon god Khonsu and mother goddess Mut were carried by men in sheer gold and black robes, replicas of what would have been worn for the same festival in ancient Egypt. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi attended the city-wide spectacle.