Egyptian Sphinx ‘brings back centuries of history’

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Crowds gathered in the iconic area near Cairo on Sunday Enlarge Image Crowds have gathered on the Avenue of the Sphinxes on a breezy day in the Egyptian capital…

Egyptian Sphinx 'brings back centuries of history'

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Crowds gathered in the iconic area near Cairo on Sunday

Enlarge Image

Crowds have gathered on the Avenue of the Sphinxes on a breezy day in the Egyptian capital Cairo to celebrate the reopening of a 3,400-year-old structure.

The Nabataean Wars, which lasted more than 500 years between the 22nd century BC and the 2nd century AD, ended when an Islamic truce brought an end to the fighting.

The area, in the Samir el-Maghrabi area, was the site of the ancient city of the same name.

The city’s preservation agency said restoration work and restoration of gravestones had made the building look “completely new”.

The BBC’s Hassan Hussain in Cairo says it is an awe-inspiring sight, lying in a narrow cobbled street surrounded by flowers in many colours.

It has never looked so glorious since the restoration, our correspondent says.

Photo by Hassan Hussin/Al-Ahram Weekly Image caption Hamad Barakat, who works for Egypt’s World Heritage Center, also said many other structures in the area had been badly damaged in antiquity

Photo by Hassan Hussain/Al-Ahram Weekly Image caption Today’s inauguration of the re-opened Avenue of the Sphinxes is part of a series of events for the refurbishment of Egypt’s historic sites

Video caption Catching the pyramid’s attention in the most urban way possible

Image caption Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities says the new architecture is inspired by ancient Egyptians’ views of objects

Image caption Baked into the heart of the city is a 500-year-old path leading to the pyramid

Image caption Traveler gets a glimpse of the statue of Prometheus in the Herodium

Image caption The room housing the statues is far more functional than the opulent Sphinx temples that were used by the rich

There is a community centre in the vast structure which hosts chess and domino matches.

The area around the Sphinx has been closed to visitors since the discovery of human remains beneath the construction site in 2011.

It was the site of a Roman fort and a 3,400-year-old pyramid built by King Amenhotep III.

Inside the pyramid, they found human remains and 56 bone fragments – an Egyptian “palace grave” that dates back to the third century BC.

In 2017, the complex was given the listing of a protected ancient site in Egypt.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, inaugurating the refurbished structure, described it as a symbol of Egypt’s history and of the country’s reconciliation process.

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