Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, March 28, 2009

If there was any doubt that Nigel Hetherington's piece had sanction, it has been removed today with it's republication on Hawass's own blog. Dr Hawass has chosen not to show the photo of the team, nor of the faience/amulet discovered, but has added a photo of the central area excavations which are very similar to the ones we have posted on this blog over the past couple of months.

Given it's tone as a "that's all folks" communication, I suspect that we should expect nothing further on the topic from Dr Hawass for several weeks, if at all before next season. That isn't to say he hasn't discovered anything new, just that he has nothing he has nothing to announce at present. Photos from the Valley of the Kings over the next couple of months will tell a tale. If sites are still protected by "no photo" signs, or tents then that is a clear indication there is something being kept under wraps. Unless, of course, Hawass manages to get the new law he wants banning photography of all archeological sites.

It is interesting he has chosen to reveal a feature beneath the rest house - that is well protected and is therefore safe from robbers until officially dug. It's a shame because it could be an Amarna era tomb, even the step leading down to it are consistent with that. However, the sewage pipes from the rest house are known to have leaked so there is a possibiliy that any tomb beneath the rest house as suffered water damage.

Back in the summer of 2008, Hawass when speaking at the O2 first mentioned the fragment referring to an unknown queen. He has now revealed that the fragment shows Weret. As this was a title used by a number of queens, I suspect that there must be some further details not yet revealed that allows him to indenitfy this as an unknown queen.

Kate

14 comments:

Dennis said...

Kate
I am confused (as usual). Hawass is saying "rest house" with your reference to toilette leakage. I only remember a trailer with toiletts. Is your "rest house" referring to what I call the covered "rest area" across the road and to the west of Seti I (KV-17).
I agree that the season is over for Zahi unless the TV contracts are sold soon.
Dennis

Kate Phizackerley said...

Dennis

You may be right.

Kate

Dennis said...

Zahi also talks about: "...in the area north and east of the tomb of Seti I. They have found traces of cutting in the bedrock...". Norh and east of Seti I is the hill behind the rest area. Unless he is doing some digging behind the shelter buildings on that cliff face I do not know where he means. I can not see any traces of digging there on pre-ban photos.

Anonymous said...

So, the plot thickens. It will be very interesting to see what happens next.

Anonymous said...

I think the latest photo of the mysterious tunnel in the tomb of Seti I is very interesting.

You can see they have been very busy there. They installed metal bracing, wooden stairs, and what looks like rails for a cart to transport the rubble out of the tunnel. It almost looks like a mining operation :). Very nice.

I hope they find a chamber at the end, probably next season.

Dennis said...

Yes, anon, bracing, rails, and an air hose. The air hose implies that the original workers would have had a problem down there. Implication: dead end.

Kate Phizackerley said...

The photo of the tunnel in Seti I was taken several months ago.

Kate Phizackerley said...

Dennis,
I don't think anybody expects the tunnel to open out into the open. Looking on the Theban Mapping Project plan, the first section at least is very straight so it was dug from KV17 not towards it (ie it's not a robber tomb dug towards KV17). So it is a deadend. The question is, what is there at the end? I'm inclined to think nothing - which I think you are suggesting too - but it would be nice to know for certain. I'd be surprised if Hawass hasn't dug further this season and that he hasn't reached the end - or found it is imposible/unsafe to dig further. The silence on the end of the tunnel in the press release suggests that there is more news to come either a) an announcement or b) and more likely, a TV documentary (which could report finding nothing). I hate having to make guesses from fragmentary information but until they start issuing detail reports, that is what we are reduced to.

Geoff Carter said...

I’m not hopeful about the Seti tunnel; any material they have found was washed down from above

Anonymous said...

^ Agreed. Seti's remains & remaining funerary equipment would have been dismantled under one of the Priest Kings, so anything found during this investigation is likely to be fragmentary.

Anyone hoping for a chamber lined with treasures is likely to very disappointed!

Thanks

The Green Man

Anonymous said...

Even if they find a dead end at the Seti I tunnel, they will have solved one of ancient egypts mysteries for good.

Kate Phizackerley said...

I think it is dangerous to jump to conclusions about what could be found at the end of the tunnel, or just within the fill. If the debris accumulated in the tunnel before Seti was moved, then small, portable items could have become deposited in the debris.

On the other hand, the theory that the debris was caused by flooding is only a theory - and the decorations in the main part of the tomb don't display a degree of waster damage consistent with that sort of major flooding. An alternative is that the tunnel was backfilled after the burial of Seti and that there is something being protected back there. I'm not saying that is the case; but I don't think we can discount the possibility.

I also agree with the previous comment. Even if nothing at all is found, this tunnel is worth exploring because there is clearly something we don't understand.

Anonymous said...

The debris within the tunnel on KV 17 is indeed flood debris. When Belzoni first explored KV 17, he said his way down the tunnel was stopped by bat's dung and a cave in of the ceiling of the tunnel. Wanting to remove Seti I's sarcophagus, Belzoni filled in the well of KV 17, and in doing so, he facilitated the entry of water into the lower sections of the tomb when a flood hit the valley after Belzoni removed the sarcophagus. The water poured in and washed flood debris into the tunnel. The map of the tunnel Kent Weeks published as part of the Theban Mapping Project, is really nothing more than a passage driven through flood debris in the period 1959-1960 when limited excavations were carried out in the tunnel.

Kate Phizackerley said...

Thanks Anonymous, that's very interesting. The cave in may explain why the engineering in the current exploration is so heavy duty. The more I look at the length of this tunnel of maps, the more mysterious it's purpose seems.

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