National Geographic : 1913 Sep
Photo byA.W. Cutler THE FAMOUS AVENUE OF SPHINXES, LEADING TO THE GREAT TEMPLE OF AMEN-RA: KARNAK At Karnak there are two of these avenues of sphinxes-or rather rams-one leading to the templeofKhons and theother, byfar the best preserved, is shown in the picture. The ram was sacred to Amen-Ra, the great god and protector ofThebes, andconsequently figures promi nently in the decorations of the city. This avenue was erected probably by Rameses II, who placed between thepaws ofeach sphinx aportrait statue of one of his predecessors. The obelisk at the extreme right of the picture is that of Sety II, a king ofthenineteenth dynasty. The great pylon which crosses the avenue is the largest in Egypt, being 142 feet high, 50 feet thick, and having atotal frontage of376 feet. When itwas built is not known, but it is probably the result of the enthusiasm of one of the later Ptolemies.