In a bit of Hollywood Egyptology, archaeologists in California stumbled upon an enormous Sphinx head in the Guadalupe-Nipomo sand dunes, about 175 miles from Los Angeles.
But of course — since this is tinseltown — it wasn’t a real Sphinx but rather a reproduction created for the 1923 Cecil B. DeMille silent epic “The Ten Commandments.”
The film, starring Theodore Roberts in the role of Moses, cost about $20 million to create in today’s money (adjusting for inflation) and was later remade by DeMille in much grander scale in 1956 starring Charlton Heston.
“That generation of filmmakers believed in the physicality of movies. If they were going to do the Civil War, they did the Civil War,” Scott Eyman, author of the DeMille biography, “Empire of Dreams” told CBS News. ” They got a couple hundred people or a couple thousand people and did the Civil War. So, if DeMille is going to recreate ancient Egypt he builds it on the same scale as ancient Egypt was built.”
Much like their real-life counterparts in Egypt, the Hollywood Sphinx heads must now be carefully excavated from the dunes to ensure their safety.