Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, February 15, 2009

Having read the Hawass update on the central excavations in the Valley of the Kings, I am confused as to the purpose of the excavations. These have, by the way, been extended further and I'm hoping to be able to post photos soon.

Hawass has pretty much rubbished the Amarna Royal Tombs Project (ARTP) radar survey (ie the one by Reeves and his team). In which case, there would seem no targets to investigate in the central area. On the other hand Hawass says, "The recent radar survey that my team and the Dash Foundation have conducted used a 200 MHz radar. Although our preliminary results only illuminate the upper levels of the valley, with a radar of this strength, we can refine our results digitally and see much deeper than Reeves’s 2000 study was able to." Is that suggesting the new radar survey has identified potential new targets?

Either the current excavations are working to investigate radar anomalies, or it is blind clearance of the type undertaken by Howard Carter. As the excavations have move beyond the area surveyed by Reeves and ARTP, that seems to me to be a very interesting question.

I might add that I am not convinced the current excavations have explored Feature 5 (Reeves' KV64) which is deeper than KV63 - the current excavations seem to be above the level of the main KV63 chamber unless I am mistaken.


Dennis said...

Remember that the good Dr. Hawass must play a very complicated game of politics which we do not even know the rules of. Right now he stands past his mandatory retirement age with one extension. I do not know how many extensions he is allowed. If he can win a change to the SCA status making it a cabinet post then he may stay employed for life. He must show clearly that Egypt is in charge of its destiny.
I had lobbied the TMP "Master Plan" author, Nigel, to include a section on how new discoveries must be handled but was unable to convince him.
On the Radar side: in general the lower the frequency (200 vs Reeves at 400) the more penetration into the rock. More power = more penetration but brings other problems. If you look at Reeves data you see that the data is banded. Each band is one wavelength thick so counting bands yields distance from the box.

Kate Phizackerley said...


We must also remember that the return of Nefertiti's bust from Berlin is one of his major goals. Until last week's revelations that the Germans were less than candid about it's value when it was exported, he seemed to have little hope of fulfilling that dream. Finding Nefertiti's tomb and, hopefully, her funerary goods would allow him to make a case for the bust to be re-united in a single exhibition, all under the glare of intense media coverage such a major find would generate.


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