Rams (Al-Kebash) Road, the Avenue of the Sphinxes
Saturday، 11 June 2022 - 03:11 PM
For the first time in 3000 years, the Sphinx Avenue (the Rams Road) returns to the light and sees the sun again.
The Sphinx Avenue (the Rams Road) is originally a royal avenue that connects the Karnak Temple in the north with the Luxor Temple in the south. It was established for the purpose of witnessing the annual celebrations of the Opet Festival, feasts and special occasions, as well as the coronation of kings, with processions that extended from the Karnak Temple to the Luxor Temple.
It hosts statues of human-headed sphinxes and ram-headed sphinxes along its length of 2,700 meters from the Luxor Temple to the Karnak Temple. And the ram here symbolizes the deity Amun.
The ancient Egyptians called this road “Wat Nathr”, meaning the path of God. While the road of rams in the temples of Karnak, was known as “Ta-Mitt-Rahat”, translated as Al-Kebbash Road.
In chronological order, Dr. Zakaria Ghoneim was the first to discover rams and that in 1949 by unveiling 14 statues of the Sphinx, then Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Qader 1958 AD - 1960 AD unveiled 64 statues of the Sphinx, then Dr. Mohamed Abdel Razek 1961-1964 revealed 64 statues of the Sphinx, and then Dr. Muhammad al-Sagheer in the mid-seventies until 2002 AD uncovered the road extending from the tenth edifice to the Temple of Mut and the road bordering the Nile, then Mansour Brik in 2006 resumed the excavation works to uncover the rest of the road..
However the problem is that most of this road was buried under the ground, and not just like that, but on this archaeological path, houses, residences, mosques, churches and even government buildings were built in the area known as “Naga Abu Asba”.
In order to revive the old road, it was necessary to remove all these encroachments, which requires a real political will because the cost of expropriating all of these properties, compensating their owners and providing them with alternative places is very high. This is in addition to the technical difficulty in discovering and restoring the ancient archaeological road, as well as restoring the rams that were discovered, most of which were in a deplorable
Because of all these reasons, the project to revive the “Road of Rams” was just a dream that is difficult to achieve, until about two years ago, when the state decided to take on this great challenge and provide it with all material and technical capabilities, and the features of the ancient archaeological road began to become clear little by little, until the road came to light again. In parallel, the archaeological rams were restored by the Egyptian restorers, amounting to 48 rams, some of which were neglected and broken, and some were brought from other governorates.
At the same time, Karnak Temple was restored to remove the dirt and erosion factors that occurred to it over hundreds of years. Also, the original colors of the archaeological inscriptions engraved on its huge columns were restored.
The advantage of this road is that it will allow the tourist to go from Luxor Temple to Karnak Temple or vice versa without leaving the pharaonic atmosphere.
The completion of the restoration work was officially announced several days ago, and the date for the opening of the Rams Road was set for Thursday, November 25, 2021.
The celebration will be a majestic global legendary ceremony similar to the procession of the royal mummies, which will start from the Karnak temple, through the road of rams and up to the Luxor Temple, where the main platform and the place for senior visitors includes leaders of countries and public figures.
The parade includes a number of pharaonic chariot, war wheels and more than 400 young men and girls, who are dressed in pharaonic clothes.
This majestic pharaonic procession will be accompanied by the playing of the famous "Amun hymn". The ceremony will be attended by international and local political leaders, and will be covered by all Egyptian, Arab and foreign news agencies.
The ancient Egyptians attached great importance to the Opet Festival, which was held annually in Thebes [Luxor currently] during the era of the New Kingdom and beyond, precisely during the second month of the season of Akhet, the flooding season of the Nile.
During the festival, the statues of the deities of the Holy Trinity of Thebes: Amun, Mot and Khonsu, were escorted out of sight inside their sacred boats in a large ceremonial procession from the Temple of Amun in Karnak to the Temple of Luxor on a journey that extended for more than 2 km.
In this ritual, the meeting of Amun-Ra and his wife Mot is highlighted, and the renewal of birth is the main theme in the celebration of Opet. In addition to the coronation of the king, and the renewal of his legitimacy to rule the country.