Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, February 14, 2009

... about KV64 is the latest article by Dr Hawass. His site has moved and is now located at rather than at the Plateau. At present the new site is just a rework of the material from the Plateau but crucially it has an RSS feed. When I get chance on Sunday, I'll add a filtered feed on the sidebar here so that any news from the Hawass site about Luxor, Amarna or the Valley of the Kings is available in the sidebar here. For anybody who prefers to quickly scan one site for Egypology news, I've added it to along with this blog, Andy's and Jane Akshar's. If there are others that people scan, I can easily add them there as well.

There are a flurry of stories on Dr Hawass's site from yesterday. Perhaps as a reaction to this site and what Nicholas Reeves has been saying, Hawass indicates specifically that the central area excavation has explored several of the ARTP radar anomalies and found ... nothing other than the huts (which he believes were for storage): he has not found a tomb in the central area. It will be interesting to see Nicholas Reeves' reaction because on the latest photos displayed here the excavation doesn't seem to have covered Feature 5 and, at least one of the anomalies Reeves reported at that location is below the level of the current excavation.

Of the cliffside excavation, Dr Hawass says

"In 2007, the first all-Egyptian archaeological team ever to work in the Valley of the Kings began excavations under my direction. We have been digging in the area between KV7, the tomb of Ramesses II, and KV8, the tomb of Merenptah. The objects that have emerged at this site include a large amount of pottery, as well as a number of beautifully decorated ostraca (painted limestone flakes, often used by artists to practice drawing or by scribes to write letters and other texts). Excitingly, one of these ostraca bears the name of a previously unknown queen. "

That makes no mention of the two tombs which in December he claimed to be opening "within the next month". It is possible that those tombs have proved not to be tombs but Hawass concludes...

"Perhaps we will soon spot the real KV64 deep below the paths where tourists walk today. Only archaeology will tell."

For those of us who have relied on Hawass's hints for years, that seems to suggest there is something further for an Egytian archaeologist to announce in due course. Reports from Luxor also seem to suggest that the guards seem relaxed about people photographing the central excavation but have been deleting photos taken on the cliffside excavation. Equally, we should conclude that a news announcement isn't scheduled for the next few weeks.

While it is good to have a better blog from Dr Hawass, and I have hopes it may develop into something more interactive, for news remains parsimonious. For that reason, I intend to continue this blog as a community reporting effort relying on both news releases and personal observations.


Anonymous said...

The raw data which Dr. Reeves posted showing feature 5 indicates a strong reflection set at an incredible depth of 35 meters. Dr. Hawass, at his site, indicates that this reflection is due to buried cables at an undefined depth of perhaps 2 meters. Perhaps there is an expert on GPR who can explain the raw data. I did take advantage of the new Hawass site to ask for a webcam in the valley.


Colin Lea said...

Dr H's site seems to just be a huge attempt to discredit Reeves. I'm also confused as to why he states
"An all-Egyptian archaeological team led by Dr. Zahi Hawass is learning that Kent Week's recently released radar data from the Valley of the Kings"

what data is that then? Is that a mistake - does he mean Reeves? or has K week's also done a GPR survey here?

I hope we get more detail from KV64 and the other dig areas (not forgetting the tunnel in seti I's tomb...

Anonymous said...

Could not agree more Colin. Dr Hawass has many admirable qualities but he does now appear to be bent on discrediting Reeves in the same way he did Fletcher, unless it is all a big smokescreen. Also Reeves found an ostracon of a previously unknown Queen in the valley 1999. Coincidentally Hawass has found a similar ostracon.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the "Weeks" statement was simply a slip and "Reeves" was intended. The question in my mind is 'Behind the slip is there a dislike for Weeks?'

Kate Phizackerley said...

I am having techincal troubles parsing the Hawass feed so that I only show items relevant to the Valley of the Kings, Amarna or Luxor/Thebes. I'm going to take a few days to decide how best to handle it.


Anonymous said...

After reading the web site of Dr Hawass it is abundantly clear nothing he posts can be taken without the biggest grain of salt. He is endlessly self promoting. Read some of his assertions about kv 62 and kv 5, and his story about Howard Carter using kv 62 as a place of romantic meeting and you have to take a reality check on the guy.

Anonymous said...

^ Absolutely.

Dr Hawass is a shameless self-publicist. Currently he seems intent on claiming any significant discover as his own, when in fact I bet there are scores of talented individuals who are toiling on his behalf & remaining uncredited.

His handling of the KV64/KV65 debacle speaks volumes about the man.

Prematurely announcing the discovery of two tombs & then not only retracting the statement but then attempting to tarnish the reputation of a fellow scholar?

Any archaelologist worth their salt would have verified their findings before going public.

I'm very disappointed in the good Doctor!


The Green Man

Geoff Carter said...

Egypt has a tradition of strong men at the top, it can work well, but much depends on the quality of the man.

It is surely appropriate for major excavation projects to be undertaken by Egyptians, and it is important for the international community to strengthen the resources at their disposal, in addition to supporting their own research in Egypt.

However, what has happened to the Amana Royal Tombs Project, leaves a bad taste in the mouth, and has left several leading scholars in a difficult and invidious position.
It is important to stress that Reeves and his colleges project was the result of significant scholarship on many fronts, and was not just prompted by the radar data.

The archaeology is one Egypt’s most important resources, and the good Doctor is a great front man, but conflating his country’s interests with his own would be an easy mistake to make when you have that amount of power.

Anonymous said...

The scans done in 2000 only penetrated 2 metres not 35 metres!
Eight years later with state of the art technology, the scans just done, only penetrated 14 metres.
As much as N. Reeves would like it to be true, all remaining anomalies from the 2000 scans, now redone, have shown no tombs, even feature 5. The two new tombs announced by Hawass near KV8, when only a few rocks had been turned over, have not been found at all. Hawass recent explanation of the Saqqara find as a 'mummy prison' shows just how ridiculous he has become. His new web site indicates that someone is now editing his words and english translations. Hawass decision that all new digs will now be all Egyptian has clearly shown that without the expertise of westerners, frantic digs all over the valley are being done.(Carter used a grid system, eliminating each area) All digs are announced by Hawass as 'my team' never giving credit to the real Egyptian leader of the dig. Pottery on display is coming from the dumps of years of exploration in the valley, and not from an opened, but secret tomb, covered over by a tent. Hawass hopes for a spectacular discovery to end his days and boost his chances for the UNESCO job he is after. H.Poirot

Dennis said...

Is it possible for MR. H. Poirot to contact me off of this blog so I can learn while not embarrassing myself in public. Presumably he has done his detective work. My EMail address is on my public persona. Dennis

Kate Phizackerley said...

@ Mr H Poirot
In my post post on the ARTP radar survey I commented that I couldn't find a depth scale in the diagrams but I am pretty certain that the penetration was more than 2m. Reeves himself said that Feature 5 was at "some considerable depth".

Can I also ask whether your comments about what has, or has not been found are based on knowledge from sources in the Valley or speculation?

Dennis said...

There is sort of a depth scale in Reeves data. GPR transmitter sends out a single wave at the radar frequency/wavelength. In the case of Reeves 400,000,000 Waves per second (400 MHZ) radar the pulse is 1/(400,000,000) seconds long. As it penetrates rock it is absorbed by the rock and reflected back (being absorbed on the return path as well). A sensitive receiver picks up what is left of the reflected pulse as a function of time. The pulse has a characteristic wave length which establishes the smallest detail which can be seen. For Reeves case this is about 3/4 meters long. Think of it as a vertical pixel size. The banded nature of reeves data shows one band per wave length (about .75meters). Try counting bands on the KV-63 data and comparing it to actual depth of the room. When I first figured out what constituted a band and counted bands I got the actual depth of KV-63 chamber floor.

Remember I am no expert in the details of how these things work I just know some of the basics.


Anonymous said...

Dennis are u saying that Mr Poirot is completely wrong in his assertations re the radar? If he has winged the radar issue then he is obviously making the other stuff up too!

Dennis said...

No! I am not saying H. Poirot is wrong. I know very little about GPR and would like to learn more. I was hoping that MR. Poirot could (off list) point me to a website or 2 with a better theoretical description. One specific area I do not know about has to do with how much the radar pulse is degraded per meter of limestone/sand as found in KV area. I do not know about the sensitivity of Dr. Reeves equipment.
There is some pretty impressive GPR processing electronics around now days. The things I have been told of process the pulse as it is received rather than taking data back into the tent.


Dennis said...

Dr. Hawass seems to have replaced "Kent Weeks" with "Nicolas Reeves" in his "In search of truth..." article on - it was a slip.

Kate Phizackerley said...

Well spotted Dennis.

Reading it again I also note that the ostracon with the name of the unknown queen was found between KV7 and KV8. I got the impression from the December lecture that it had been found the other side of KV8. I wish information was a little more definitive.

Anonymous said...

If you look at Reeves map, you can see that the workmens huts in the central excavation were already known (Carter?).
Reeves 'Feature 5' is at the corner of the kv62 enclosure wall. To dig there, the central excavation would have to merge with the cliffside excavation, which would eventually cut of the acess to kv62. you can see this on the drhawass site in the picture with that tent. i am not sure how they could ensure tourist access to kv62 if they dig there, maybe they would have to install some sort of makeshift bridge over the excavation. it is an interesting problem. the most intriguing place to dig seems to be out of reach.

Anonymous said...

Oops, i read reeves map wrong. feature 5 could be acessed from the central excavation, beyond those sand bags. approximately where the tourist took the recent video.


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