The southern city of Luxor which today sits on the site of ancient Thebes, the capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom in 1570 – 1069 BC, has celebrated 69 years since al-Kebash avenue, the Avenue of the Rams or Avenue of the Sphinxes, was first discovered on 18 March 1949.
The celebration came within Luxor’s archaeological cultural forum which was held last week, organised by the Ministry of Antiquities’ Upper Egypt archaeological sector.
Mustafa al-Sagheer, managing director of Karnak monuments and general supervisor of al-Kebash road, addressed the forum with a lecture on the history of excavation of the road since it was first discovered until the present, focusing on the role of Egyptian archaeologists who were pivotal in the discovery.
At 2,700 metres long and 76 metres wide, al-Kebash avenue is among the largest walkways of the ancient world. It was the processional route that linked Luxor Temple with the Temple of Mut at Karnak to the south. The avenue and sphinxes were built during the New Kingdom and completed by Nectanebo I (380-363 BC) who ruled during the 30th Dynasty. Each of the approximately 1350 ram-headed or human-headed sphinxes which originally lined the route on both sides are inscribed with his name.
Today the beginning and end of the avenue, which extend at the entrance of Karnak temple and that of Luxor Temple, are above ground. But a considerable portion of the avenue remains unexcavated, buried underneath the modern-day city. The government is conducting a project to excavate it in full.
25 March 2018