The sands of time that make up the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes recently gave up a new visage of the region’s connection to the Golden Age of moviemaking — a 300-pound plaster sphinx head.
In the early 1920s, legendary film director Cecil B. DeMille and movie production crews descended on the sand dunes west of Guadalupe to create a large Egyptian-themed set for DeMille’s movie, “The Ten Commandments.”
When filming was done, according to local legend, it was too expensive to move and too valuable to leave for rival filmmakers to plunder, so DeMille buried it.
During a recent archaeological dig, which began Oct. 23 and wrapped up Nov. 4, researchers discovered the head of a 300-pound plaster sphinx that was part of the 94-year-old movie set.
“The piece is unlike anything found on previous digs,” said Doug Jenzen, executive director of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center.
What makes the recent find significant is its size and how well-preserved researchers found it.