Valley of Kings
The largest ancient Egyptian sarcophagus has been identified in a tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, say archaeologists who are re-assembling the giant box that was reduced to fragments more than 3,000 years ago. Made of red granite, the royal sarcophagus was built for Merneptah. Archaeologists are re-assembling the outermost of these nested sarcophagi, its size dwarfing the researchers working on it. It is more than 4 meters long, 2.3 m wide and towers more than 2.5 m above the ground. It was originally quite colorful and has a lid that is still intact.
A deep burial well was found on the path leading to King Tuthmosis III’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The well leads to a burial chamber filled with a treasured collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts. Further inside the chamber, excavators stumbled upon a wooden sarcophagus painted black and decorated with hieroglyphic texts, and a wooden stelae engraved with the names and different titles of the deceased. The tomb dates to the 22nd Dynasty (945-712 BC) and it belongs to the daughter of Amun Re, lecture priest in Karnak temples and also the singer of the God Amun Re.
New research presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) shows that a tomb in the Valley of the Kings, KV 44, contained the remains of infants who were suffering from disease. The skeletons of adult women were also found but no men.
The tomb, which was discovered some 89 years ago, has been damaged as a result of the many visitors it has received, particularly over the past three decades, according to a Monday report in the Australian newspaper The Sunday Times. Instead, visitors will be directed to a soon-to-be-created replica of the tomb in Luxor, while the original will be closed down for preservation purposes.
Egyptian archaeologists who have completed excavations on the unfinished ancient tunnel in the tomb of Seti I believe it was meant to connect a 3,300-year-old pharaoh's tomb with a secret burial site. The tunnel has now been completely cleared and archaeologists discovered ancient figurines, shards of pottery and instructions left by the architect for the workmen.
Documents show that Howard Carter cheated on many counts, manipulating photographs, forging documentation on the discovery and deceiving the Egyptian Antiquities Service. Objects in several museums have now been revealed to belong to Tutankhamun's treasures.
The project to restore the tomb is the latest collaboration between Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Los Angeles-based Getty Conservation Institute, which in the past restored nearby tombs and designed airtight cases to display Egypt's mummies. The conservation plan will involve a two-year research period to determine the causes of deterioration, followed by three years of implementation. The SCA said it had yet to decide how long the tomb would be closed during that time.
Ancient choices made by Egyptians digging burial tombs may have led to today's problems with damage and curation of these precious archaeological treasures, but photography and detailed geological mapping should help curators protect the sites, according to a Penn State researcher.
Flash floods, caused by violent thunderstorms and occurring about every one or two centuries, have been the scourge of the Theban Hills as long as history can remember, and they’ve taken a heavy toll on its tombs. How did ancient Egyptians cope? And is there a risk that – if the heavens open so wide again soon – further damage might be caused yet?
The ornate pharaonic tombs in Egypt's Valley of the Kings are doomed to disappear within 150 to 500 years if they remain open to tourists, the head of antiquities has warned. Zahi Hawass said humidity and fungus are eating into the walls of the royal tombs in the huge necropolis on the west bank of the Nile across from Luxor.