Photos: 1920s Hollywood sphinx goes on display

A plaster sphinx, more than 90 years old and weathered by the elements, will make its 21st-century debut at a museum in Guadalupe, California, tomorrow (June 12). Researchers based the reconstruction on old footage and photos of the sphinxes from the 1923 production of "The Ten Commandments." (Photo Credit: Dunes Center, Guadalupe, California.) 

Related: Read the full story on the new sphinx exhibit


Actors on the set of the movie 90 years ago.

Uncovering history

The team uncovers the famous sphinx. 

Capturing the moment

The staff snaps a picture with the sphinx. 

A formidable structure

An image of the sphinx from the movie. 

Restoring former majesty

The team works to repair damage from more than nine decades in the desert. 

A nostalgic image

A historic scene captured on film from decades ago. 

Facing up

A restorer created a plaster face that resembled the sphinx to hold the artifacts excavated from the dune, seen here in pink and white.

Sideways profile

A view of the reconstructed sphinx face from the side. The public is invited to see the exhibit at the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center.

Giant paw

The crew of the 1923 blockbuster "The Ten Commandments" painted this giant sphinx paw a pink hue so that it would appear gray in the black and white movie.

Sphinx reconstructed

Art restorers used Elmer's Glue to piece the sphinx's body back together.

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 4:15 p.m. EDT June 13 to add photos of the restored face, body and paw of the sphinxes filmed on the original movie set.

Originally published on Live Science.

Laura Geggel

Laura is the archaeology and Life's Little Mysteries editor at Live Science. She also reports on general science, including paleontology. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site on autism research. She has won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting at a weekly newspaper near Seattle. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in science writing from NYU.