Reuters MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY
In a solemn festive atmosphere that combined modern technological influences and the scent of ancient history, Egypt reopened on Thursday the ancient “Road of Rams” in Luxor.
The “road of rams” is about 2,700 meters long and more than 70 meters wide, and connects the Karnak temples in the north and Luxor temple in the south. Statues in the form of sphinxes and others in the form of rams lie on both sides of the stone road.
The construction of the road began during the era of the Eighteenth Dynasty in ancient Egypt by King Amenhotep III, who started the construction of the Luxor Temple, but the largest share of the implementation is due to King Nectanebo I, founder of the Thirtieth Dynasty.
The road was used during the Opet festival associated with the flooding of the Nile River, and the columns and walls of temples in Luxor record the ways of the ancient Egyptians in celebrating it and their chants on this occasion.
Over the years, the road features were blurred and various occupations were established on it, old and new, but in 1949 the road was discovered again and the process of reviving it, which took decades to remove the occupancy and develop the site, began.
The ceremony of reviving the Way of the Rams included an artistic show that simulates some aspects of the ancient Egyptians’ celebration of the Opet Festival, in which hundreds of Egyptian university students participated in pharaonic costumes, and was attended by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, a number of members of his government, and foreign and Arab ambassadors.
Thursday’s celebration came a few months after Egypt organized a solemn procession through the streets of the capital, Cairo, to transport 22 royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to the National Museum of Civilization in the Fustat area.
Egypt is currently seeking to revive the tourism sector, which was a major source of foreign currency income before the popular uprising in 2011, and to recover from the consequences of the Corona pandemic on the economy through a plan that includes the completion and establishment of new museums and raising the efficiency of various tourist sites across the country.