Luxor’s Avenue of Sphinxes set to open in October

Many changes are taking place in Luxor. The residents of certain areas are being moved from their older houses in town to new locations. All of this is happening in order to do additional archaeological work and turn the town into an even more popular tourist area. At least that is my idea of what is happening.

The Luxor Times report on the scheduled opening of the Avenue of Sphinxes here.

A grand opening is due to take place in October 2011 to celebrate the newly restored Avenue of Sphinxes.…

Lined with sphinxes, the 2.7 km [1.68 miles] route that connects the grand temples of Luxor and Karnak will be lit by the Sound and Light Company of Egypt.…

For the last 5 years, the restoration project has focused on excavation, conservation, treatment of the water table, and the establishment of protective walls and entrances for tourist. The 120 million LE [20+ million US$] project also involved relocating houses and removing roads, with full compensation paid to all those affected by the development.

The impressive avenue has long been a place of religious significance. In her red chapel in Karnak, Queen Hatshepsut (1502-1482 BC) recorded that she built six chapels dedicated to the god Amun-Re on the route. Successive construction and restoration work commenced during the reigns of Akhenaten (1353-1336 BC), Tutankhamun (1336-1327 BC) and Horemheb (1323-1295 BC).

King Nectanebo I (380-362 BC) of the 30th Dynasty constructed the Avenue of Sphinxes on the older path. It was used for religious ceremonies and processions, marking the annual journey of the sacred boat of Amun on the god’s visit to his wife, Mut, at Luxor temple. An inscription from this time reads “I have built a beautiful road for my father Amun-Re surrounded by walls and decorated with flowers for the journey to the temple of Luxor”. Another inscription bears a cartouche for Queen Cleopatra. It is most likely to be from her visit to the avenue during a Nile trip with Mark Anthony.

Here is a photo I made of a portion of the Avenue of Sphinxes with a view toward the Luxor Temple.

Avenue of Sphinxes with view toward Luxor Temple. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Avenue of Sphinxes with view toward Luxor Temple. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

And here is a closer view.

Avenue of Sphinxes with a view view the Luxor Temple. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Avenue of Sphinxes with a view toward the Luxor Temple. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Luxor was known as Thebes in Old Testament times. Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel prophesied the Lord’s judgment of the city. Jeremiah says,

The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, says, ‘Behold, I am going to punish Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt along with her gods and her kings, even Pharaoh and those who trust in him’” (Jeremiah 46:25; see also Ezekiel 30:14-16).

HT: Bible Places Blog

One response to “Luxor’s Avenue of Sphinxes set to open in October

  1. Brother Jenkins,
    Thanks so much for the info and photos that confirm what we already know God’s inspired word says. Those of us who are not able to go to the Bible lands personally appreciate the opportunity to go there vicariously through your adventures. I hope this material will be available for the edification of future generations as well. Keep up the good work. With brotherly love, Carthel Thomas

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s