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.
And here is a closer view.
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).