Arts & Entertainment

​Sphinx from 'Ten Commandments' set unearthed in California sand dunes

The exodus of the Israelites from Egypt through the desert, a scene from the 1923 silent film version of 'The Ten Commandments', directed by Cecil B DeMille.
The exodus of the Israelites from Egypt through the desert, a scene from the 1923 silent film version of 'The Ten Commandments', directed by Cecil B DeMille.
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

 Archaeologists working in sand dunes on the central California coast have dug up an intact plaster sphinx that was part of an Egyptian movie set built more than 90 years ago for filming of Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 epic "The Ten Commandments."

A scene from silent version of the 1923 epic film 'The Ten Commandments', also directed by Cecil B DeMille. The Egyptian Pharaoh is surrounded by his guards as he prepares to lead his army forth.
A scene from silent version of the 1923 epic film 'The Ten Commandments', also directed by Cecil B DeMille. The Egyptian Pharaoh is surrounded by his guards as he prepares to lead his army forth.
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

The 300-pound sphinx is the second recovered from the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes.

Director Cecil B DeMille and actor Yul Brynner discussing a passage from the Holy Bible, prior to the filming of their movie 'The Ten Commandments', circa 1955.
Director Cecil B DeMille and actor Yul Brynner discussing a passage from the Holy Bible, prior to the filming of their movie 'The Ten Commandments', circa 1955.
Keystone/Getty Images

Dunes Center Executive Director Doug Jenzen tells KEYT-TV it's unlike other items found on previous digs because most of it is preserved with the original paint intact.

DeMille's set included more than 20 sphinxes. After the filming DeMille ordered everything buried in the dunes 175 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

They lay undisturbed for decades before recovery efforts began. The newly recovered sphinx is expected to go on display at the dunes museum next summer.