GUADALUPE, Calif. – Archaeologists working on sand dunes on California's central coast have unearthed an intact plaster sphinx that was part of an Egyptian setting built more than 90 years ago for the epic "The Ten Commandments" of Cecil B. DeMille. "
The 300-pound sphinx is the second to be recovered from the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes.
The Executive Director of the Dunes Center, Doug Jenzen, tells Santa Barbara's KEYT-TV news station that it is different from other items found in previous excavations because most of it is preserved intact.
DeMille entrusted Paul Iribe, often hailed as the father of the art deco, to create the splendid set for the 1923 film, which included more than 20 sphinxes.
Because the mbadive backdrop was too expensive to destroy, DeMille ordered everything buried in the dunes 175 miles northwest of Los Angeles when the film was shot.
Director Peter Brosnan in the mid-80s began looking for the bones of the 12-story set and in 1990 he received a $ 10,000 archeological grant to fund his efforts. He discovered the first sphinx buried under the sand shortly after.
"The Ten Commandments" when adjusted for inflation is one of the highest grossing films of all time. The movie's budget also set records, with DeMille reportedly spending $ 13.2 million on the thousands of outstanding actors and actresses, as well as on the entire set.
They remained calm for decades before the recovery efforts began. The newly recovered sphinx is expected to show up at the dune museum next summer.