Thursday, January 18, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Large sphinx head unearthed in California


Posted on Sunday, 3 December, 2017 | Comment icon 2 comments

The prop is made of plaster of Paris. Image Credit: The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center
Archaeologists discovered the artifact in Santa Barbara County, however all is not quite as it seems.
Far from being a relic built by the ancient Egyptians, the 300-pound sphinx head is actually something a little more recent - a prop from the pioneering 1923 movie The Ten Commandments.

In an effort to mimic Egypt's sandy landscape, part of the Hollywood blockbuster was shot in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes on an enormous set measuring 800ft across and 12 stories high.

Featuring a huge gate, pharaoh statues and 21 sphinxes, the set required the skills of 1,300 craftsmen and used 25,000 pounds of nails and 250 tons of plaster of Paris.

Once filming had concluded, director Cecil B. DeMille demanded that the entire thing be buried in the sand. The exact reason for this remains unclear, however it is believed that he had either wanted to prevent other directors using it or had run out of money and couldn't afford to dismantle it.

Fast-forward almost 100 years and now, for the first time, archaeologists have managed to unearth one of the original intact sphinx heads from the site of the movie set.

"Movie sets just don't exist anymore from that Golden Age of Hollywood," said Doug Jenzen, executive director of the Dunes Center.

"This represents an opportunity to save a piece of American history before it's destroyed."

Source: Smithsonian Magazine | Comments (2)

Tags: Sphinx

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Stiff on 3 December, 2017, 14:16
What a cool find.
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer on 4 December, 2017, 17:58
I thought of the movie as soon as I saw the picture. There was a movie many years ago. I don't know whether it was a TV or cable move, but it chroniclized the making of the 10 Commandments. The movie speculated the DeMille was running out of money and was cutting corners on sets and safety.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6081502
260421
172519

 
Extreme weather tops 2018's global threats list
1-17-2018
1,000 risk management experts from around the world have outlined this year's top man-made threats.
Man ruptures throat while stifling a sneeze
1-17-2018
As one unfortunate man recently found out, trying to stifle a particularly explosive sneeze is not a good idea.
Is there an iron throne in the Great Pyramid?
1-17-2018
Professor Giulio Magli believes that the pyramid may be home to a throne carved from the core of a meteorite.
Papers found on Blackbeard's ship identified
1-16-2018
Archaeologists have found the answer to one of the Queen Anne's Revenge's most enduring mysteries.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Typing vs handwriting
Posted 1-16-2018 | 2 comments
Is typing on a computer better or worse for your memory then writing on paper ?
 
Can coding help avoid job automation ?
Posted 1-12-2018 | 0 comments
Taking up coding and technical skills to avoid automation may be counter-productive.
 
Dinosaur death match
Posted 1-8-2018 | 0 comments
A look at how various dinosaurs might have fared against the predators of their day.
 
 View: More videos
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ