Movie fans and history buffs got a glimpse of a rare Hollywood relic Saturday at the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center: a giant sphinx head.
The Dunes Center showed off its latest finds from the long-buried set of Cecil B. DeMille’s silent movie masterpiece “The Ten Commandments” at Saturday’s Sphinx and Drinks gala.
Archeologists excavated the artifacts from the sands of the Guadalupe Nipomo Dunes, which encompass an 18-mile stretch of coastline in southern San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties, in October and November 2017.
Among the treasures unearthed was a 10-foot-tall piece of a plaster sphinx featured in “The Ten Commandments.”
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The Egyptian-style set of DeMille’s 1923 movie, designed by Art Deco designer Paul Iribe, featured 21 five-ton sphinxes, four 35-foot-tall statues of Ramses II and temple gates that stood more than 12 stories tall and 800 feet wide. After filming ended, DeMille abandoned the set, which became known as the “Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille.”
Saturday’s 1920s-themed gala drew dignitaries such as U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal and Dunes Center executive director Doug Jenzen, who talked about the sphinx head before its unveiling.
Eventgoers also enjoyed craft cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a live auction and music by The Tipsy Gypsies at the gala, a fundraiser for the Dunes Center’s educational programs and community outreach efforts.
For more information about the Dunes Center, visit dunescenter.org.