The 12 newfound statues, many now headless, lined one end of the newly unearthed Nectanebo section of the Avenue of the Sphinxes. So far only about 66 feet (20 meters) of the 0.4-mile (600-meter) Nectanebo route have been excavated—part of an effort to transform historic Thebes into a modern tourist attraction. (Download Egypt wallpapers.)
The previously excavated section of the Avenue of the Sphinxes connects the two main temples of eastern Thebes—Karnak and Luxor. Archaeologists are hoping that, once fully excavated, the newfound section—which appears headed for the nearby temple of the goddess Mut—will add a third temple to the ancient canal complex.
"If we found a quay, or a harbor, leading to Mut temple, it means, in my opinion, we will be in front of a great discovery that changes the landscape of the east of Luxor," dig leader Mansour Boraik said. It would suggest, for one thing, that the ancient festival boat processions at Thebes covered much more ground, and a more complex route, than previously thought.
(Also see "Rare Middle-Class Tomb Found From Ancient Egypt.")