Ancient Egyptian road restored to help visitors

Image copyright AFP Image caption Prior to the restoration, only one of the Egyptian pyramids had been restored

A 3,400-year-old road connecting two of Egypt’s pyramids is to reopen after four years of restoration work.

Built in 2,400BC, the Avenue of the Sphinxes was designed to house Egyptian soldiers during the First Dynasty – which lasted from 25 BC to 33 BC.

Historians believe the road may also have been used to transport parts of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The Avenue is the first item in the newly-restored Valley of the Kings, formerly the Valley of the Queens.

During the restoration the Nile Delta road was completely redesigned and elevated up to 1.5m (5ft) above its previous level.

Image copyright Al-Ahram Image caption A shorter lane is designed to lessen the potential for runoff during the summer

It includes a new short lane with special drainage to minimise runoff during summer, and new lighting to reduce the chance of accidents.

Parts of the road have been reopened to traffic for the first time in more than four years.

The Nile’s walls encircle the ancient tombs of Menelik II and Khufu – the Three Great Pyramids – located at Giza, just outside Cairo.

Image copyright Al-Ahram Image caption In recent decades, roadblocks and booby traps in the vicinity of Khufu’s necropolis resulted in time spent on viewing films of the pyramids

Originally, part of the Avenue passed beneath Khufu’s tomb, but it was removed in 1852 to create a passage leading to the pyramid’s entrance.

Although the Avenue of the Sphinxes is now back, it is not expected to run directly underneath the pyramid.

It was only one of several entrances the builders had to contend with during construction of the pyramid, with others including the Moria, El Mardana and El Greco.

Image copyright Al-Ahram Image caption The Avenue had been used to house Egyptian soldiers during the First Dynasty

As well as the Avenue of the Sphinxes, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is also revamping its galleries and pavilions around the Pyramids of Giza, with renovated temples and mosaics.

It will be open to the public on 1 July 2019.

In the meantime, a new tourist centre has been set up close to the site of Khufu’s necropolis, meaning visitors are not required to make their way through a labyrinth of tunnels and underground passages.

Image copyright Al-Ahram Image caption These images show the initial work done to reopen the avenue

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