Published Dec 1, 2017 at 3:02 PM | Updated at 9:54 PM PST on Dec 1, 2017
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."
The 300-pound sphinx is the second recovered from the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes.
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.
"The original movie set has 12-story tall buildings, lined with 21 sphinxes, so what we are attempting to do is excavate one of the sphinxes," Jenzen told NBC affiliate KSBY.
One piece measured in at 10 feet tall and 15 feet long, KSBY reported. Dunes Center staff believe any other sphinxes left in the sand have fully disintegrated.
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.