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Egypt opens refurbished ‘Avenue of the Sphinx’ in Luxor

LUXOR, EGYPT – Egyptian authorities on Thursday unveiled a refurbished 3,000-year-old ancient promenade in the city of Luxor, the latest government project undertaken to highlight Turn on the archeological treasures of the country.

Egypt has struggled to revive its tourism industry, battered by years of political turmoil following the famous 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, and more recently by a pandemic. coronavirus.

The ancient walking path – known as the Avenue of the Sphinxes, but also known as the Path of the Horsemen and the Path of the Gods – connects the famous temples of Karnak and Luxor in Thebes, which was once the capital of Egypt. in ancient times. It is believed to be the route by which pilgrims visit temples and pay respects to their gods.

The ancient road in Luxor, on the banks of the Nile and about 650 kilometers (400 miles) south of Cairo, stretches for several miles and is being excavated for more than 50 years.

President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi attended the exclusively televised event, a late-evening ceremony geared towards an ancient autumn holiday, along with other high-ranking officials.

Mohamed Abd el-Badei, a top Egyptian archeology official, said the oldest ruins along the road are six structures built by Queen Hatshepsut, the only female pharaoh. of Egypt, dating back to 1400 BC.

He said that according to the hieroglyphs on the wall of one of the temples, the ancient holiday was called “Opet” and was marked with parades and dancers to celebrate the bounty that the annual flood of the Nile brought to the fields. According to the records, there was also a fleet of sacred boats that made their way to the temple.

Thursday’s event is the second this year to honor Egypt’s heritage. In April, the government held a procession to mark the transfer of several famous mummies from the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo to the newly built museum south of the Egyptian capital.

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