Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, February 05, 2009

Update - I was wrong!

I've left my original post, but I was wrong. Going back to Brian Yare's photos of 23rd January, the bottom is clearly visible. It's actually rather shallow. I'm also swapping emails with somebody who thinks I'm wrong about this lining up with KV64 - and I may be.

Ah well, nothing wrong with public embarassment! I still think it has to be an ancient feature though as it is definitley cut through bed rock. I wasn't entirely wrong - just about this and Reeves' KV64!

Original post

I've cross-matched the "shaft" on David Hay's photos with the ARTP radar surveys. It's hard to be certain, but so far as I can tell the shaft lines up with Feature 5 of the ARTP radar survey. Feature 5 is the one which Nicholas Reeves dubbed KV64. This is how Nicholas Reeves describes that feature:

Feature 5 [= `KV64`]
Traverses I and J, lying to the south of the main grid. Traverse I displays two separate reflections - the first relating to Feature 5, the second to Feature 6 (see below). It is possible that the reflections detected in traverses I and J do not relate to the same feature, since the J reflection seems to be very much deeper - the deepest in the area. [For a different screen capture, see here.]

So, when we get a press release in due course, we will now for certain whether Nicholas Reeves was correct to call KV64. If it is a tomb, then I doubt it will end up being KV64 - but let's not quibble about details; this time Nicholas needs to make some noise about it before it is announced publicly otherwise the credit which is perhaps rightly his will go to somebody else just as it did for KV63.

I'd be grateful if somebody could check whether they agree with me that this "shaft" is pretty much on top of the ARTP Feature 5.

For all my - and others' - gripes about Dr Hawass's failure to keep the public informed, he is a first rate archaeologist and cares passionately about the Egyptian monuments. On many occasions he has shown he his prepared to wait, do things properly, rather than rush a discovery. If this shaft is on top of Feature 5, I don't believe Hawass would have dug through solid rock and risked breaking through the roof of a tomb. That is not his style. He would have taken the trouble - he has the resources and the time to do so - to find the tomb entrance. Logic suggests that Hawass would not have excavated this shaft through solid rock and that it must have been a feature created in Pharaonic times. Even had Carter - or tomb robbers for that matter - excavated the area, he wouldn't have sunk the shaft into solid rock either - he had no radar survey to indicate that it was a point of interest. Everything seems to suggest an original feature. Being so obviously square, it is also unlikely to be a natural geological feature.

Unfortunately I cannot convince myself that the shaft must indicate a tomb - it could perhaps be a well for the workers, or perhaps a foundation for some long-gone feature like an obelisk. Whatever, without knowing the depth and detail of what has been found, I don't think the photo is sufficient to say there is evidence of a tomb.

I am having terrible trouble trying to find a depth scale for the ARTP radar survey, or indeed for the depth of KV63, so I can't decide whether the shaft corresponds to the upper or deeper response that Reeves' notes. Any opinions - or help with the vertical scale - would be appreciated.



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