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air date: 12/20/12 4:00 AM
The Great Sphinx is disappearing. It would not be the first time in its nearly 5,000-year history that the sands of Egypt have buried this wonder of the ancient world. But today the Sphinx confronts a threat far worse than being blanketed by dunes. The face of the mysterious Pharaoh is being sandblasted to oblivion, its features eroded beyond recognition by whipping winds while its limestone lion's body is dissolved by rising saltwater and sewage and shaken by planes, cars and construction. Now, an international team of archeologists, architects and engineers, led by Zahi Hawass and Mark Lehner, is racing against time to save the Sphinx. With the aid of the most advanced digital 3D model ever constructed, they hope to save the Sphinx before it is too late. Along the way, they'll also solve the riddles that have eluded the rescue missions of Pharaohs, Caesars and Emperors for more than 3,000 years. Who is the Sphinx and what did it symbolize? How was it built, when and by whom? NOVA follows the team to find out if they can reverse the destructive forces of man and nature to save this wonder of the ancient world.
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