What on earth is an Egyptian relic doing in the deserts of California?
Breaking news: Archaeologists have unearthed a brand new sphinx, but before you start grabbing your horses and heading to Nazlet El Semaan, we feel obliged to tell you that this discovery wasn’t made here in Egypt, but rather in California.
The surprise discovery of the American sphinx was uncovered in the Guadalupe-Nipomo dunes in the state of California. Equally shocking is that the American sphinx is only one of the 21 plaster copies suspected to be buried on site.
The 21 sphinxes were originally built back in 1932 for legendary filmmaker Cecile B DeMille. After being used on the classic film set of Demille’s The Ten Commandments, the gigantic sphinx were abandoned where over the years were buried and forgotten.
Excavating the knock-off sphinx began in 2012, but ran out of money quickly. When they finally raised enough funds they returned to the site only to find out the exposed plaster structure had been heavily damaged by sand and wind erosion, however also uncovered its feet. “It was a really pleasant surprise when we found out it was almost a full sphinx,” Doug Jenzen, executive director of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center, said.
Continued excavation also unearthed a second sphinx with most of its face missing, but archaeologist are hoping the body is intact, and plan to match it with a head they found earlier.
Only in California could you imagine ever making this discovery. It will be interesting to see if in a millennium from now if other sets will be uncovered and confused as actual structures instead of simply film sets. In the meantime we highly suggest tourists wishing to visit the plaster replica of the sphinx reconsider splurging on the airfare and coming to see the real deal, because at the end of the day the plane may cost more, but the vacation will be cheaper and, more importantly, authentic.