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Archaeological Dig Is Scouring Sand Dunes for Sphinxes — but Not in Egypt

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Another sphinx was partially exhumed in 2012 but money ran out.

Sphinxes in the background from "The Ten Commandments." (Image source: YouTube)

GUADALUPE, Calif. (TheBlaze/AP) — Archaeologists working in these sand dunes are digging up ancient sphinxes — but not the ones you're probably most familiar with.

Giant imitations of an ancient Egyptian scene were constructed more than 90 years ago along the Central California coast for the silent black-and-white classic movie "The Ten Commandments."

Sphinxes in the background from "The Ten Commandments." (Image source: YouTube) Sphinxes in the background from "The Ten Commandments." (Image source: YouTube)

When filming was over for the 1923 movie, legendary director Cecil B. DeMille left them there among the sands of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes in Santa Barbara County. (DeMille also directed the remake of "The Ten Commandments" in 1956.)

This week archaeologists excavated a crumbling plaster sphinx from the ruins.

Another sphinx was partially exhumed in 2012 but money ran out. When crews went back, that sphinx was too damaged to retrieve but they found another.

What can be removed will eventually be on display at the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center, which raised $120,000 for the most recent dig.

Here's a clip from the 1923 film:

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