Aired Wednesday May 18th, 2011 at 8:00 pm on KUED HD Ch. 7.1
For 45 centuries, the Great Sphinx has cast its enigmatic gaze over Egypt's Giza plateau. The biggest and oldest statue in a land of colossal ancient monuments, its scale is staggering. The mighty head towers as tall as the White House, while its body is nearly the length of a football field. This strange half-human, half-lion image has inspired countless fantastic theories about its origins. How was it built? Who or what does it represent? Surprisingly, the scribes of the period during which it was built passed over it in silence.
Adding to the mystery, archeologists found that its creators abruptly discarded their tools and abandoned the structure when it was nearly complete. Searching for clues, NOVA's expert team of archeologists and Egyptologists carry out eye-opening experiments. The team also unearths new discoveries about the people who built the Sphinx and why they created such a haunting and astonishing image. NOVA "Riddles of the Sphinx" airs Wednesday, May 18 at 8:00 p.m. on KUED Channel 7.
Immediately following at 9:00 p.m., NOVA presents "Building Pharoah's Ship." A magnificent ship embarks on a royal expedition to a mysterious, treasure-laden land called Punt. Is this journey, intricately depicted on the wall of one of Egypt's most impressive temples, mere myth or was it real?
NOVA travels to the legendary temple, built some 3,500 years ago for the celebrated female pharaoh Hatshepsut, in search of answers to this tantalizing archeological mystery. Did Punt exist and, if so, where was it? Did the ancient Egyptians, who built elaborate barges to sail down the Nile, also have the expertise to embark on a long sea voyage?
NOVA follows a team of archeologists and boat builders as they reconstruct the mighty vessel shown on the mysterious carving, and then launch it into the Red Sea on a unique voyage of discovery.
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