Monday, June 25, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    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
ATM-dwelling rat in India gobbles up $18,000
6-25-2018
A rat that managed to gain access to an ATM machine ended up gorging itself on a small fortune in notes.
Intelligent alien life unlikely, study claims
6-25-2018
Researchers at Oxford University maintain that we are probably the only intelligent life forms in the universe.
Mystery surrounds hunt for James Bond's car
6-24-2018
An Aston Martin driven by Sean Connery in the movie 'Goldfinger' was stolen from an airport hangar in 1997.
Scientists solve age-old dripping tap mystery
6-24-2018
What exactly causes the loud and incessant 'plink, plink, plink' sound that has kept millions awake at night ?
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
The conjoined teachers
Posted 6-24-2018 | 1 comment
Conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel have aspirations to become school teachers.
 
Hermit crab finds a new home
Posted 6-18-2018 | 1 comment
Hermit crabs on this tropical island have been experiencing something of a housing shortage.
 
Throwing water at -52 below zero
Posted 6-10-2018 | 1 comment
What happens when you throw hot water in to the air in extreme freezing temperatures ?
 
 View: More videos
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ