Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ancient Wall Designed to Protect Sphinx

Egyptian archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a 3,400-year-old wall on the Giza plateau that once protected the Sphinx from desert winds. The two sections of mud-brick wall, which stretch for 433 feet, have been dated to the reign of Thutmose IV.

According to ancient Egyptian texts, the pharaoh built the enclosure after the Sphinx appeared to him in a dream complaining that it was being choked by sand. The team also uncovered a third, older section of wall that is believed to be part of a settlement for priests and officials overseeing the mortuary cult of the pharaoh Khafre.

Egypt’s government is building its own wall around the Giza site to protect the monuments from looters and prevent touts from disturbing visitors. Tourism, which accounts for 12.6 percent of jobs, is one of the country’s main sources of foreign currency and brought in $10.8 billion last year, according to the Tourism Ministry.

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