Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jane Akshar has confirmed the rumours. Camera are now entirely forbidden from the Valley of the Kings. That's not just within tombs: cameras cannot be taken into the Valley of the Kings at all. It's even more than cannot be used - cameras must physically be left at the gate.

There is no word yet whether other sites are affected, but seemingly not at present. Since many mobile phones can take hi-res pictures, I'm not sure whether they are now banned as well.

It looks like the attempt at a news blackout in advance of a major announcement has begun. It's probably the surest sign yet that something big is coming. As well as protecting media rights an intact (or substantially complete) tomb will also be a major security headache and preventing exterior photos could be part of the security measures to protect it.

Anyone who has read the story of KV62 will know that Carnarvon (without consulting Carter) sold exclusive media rights to the Times of London. The other papers were incensed, of course, and thus began some of the reporting on other angles which didn't require photos from the tomb. It's possible the curse was a 'story' seized upon to fill the vacuum. Carter became a target for reporters as well, and for a time was banned from the Valley of the Kings.

Banning photos from the Valley of the Kings may have been done with the best of intentions but if history repeats itself it could rebound with devastating effect.

PS I'd welcome any first hand travel reports from readers. Words will have to replace pictures for a time.


Anonymous said...

We are planning on going soon and often do the walk over the hills from dair el bahri into VOK. Is it possible we would be stopped from entering the valley and made to turn around and go back if we were found to have cameras in our bags? Thoughts welcome. DaveH.

styler78 said...

Very interesting. I would be of the opinion that we will be drip- fed further information leading up to the 2010 season in the VOK and this may well involve a new "Tut".

I hope that this step isn't to stop online news sites from trying to beat the SCA to certsin releases as this could mean all new discoveries taking months (or more) to reach us (and drip- fed).

Anonymous said...


Plain and simple, IT'S ALL ABOUT MONEY. If you remember in the last year's dig season, vast areas were excavated and most of if was right in the middle of the valley. Very little chance of keeping anything out of view if left open. With the "NO CAMERA POLICY" now in affect, it could generate, not only added public interest, but also, needed revenue to modernize the valley. Dehumidifiers, special lighting, renovation or better walkways inside the existing tombs that are opened to the public. Maybe new funds could construction an overhead walk way/ways that would separate the public from any current or future excavations. These walkways would have access to existing opened tombs. These walkways could also be closed while digging is going on down below, out of the public's view. For areas that are left open, a fee could be charged. That way, if you wanted to snap a few frames for the scrapbook or slide show back home, start clicking. It appears that the good old doctor Z is going out with a BANG!!

That's it from here,


Kate Phizackerley said...

From Mary Crowther
hello, i was so sorry to read this, as my house is full of photos i have taken in the valley, in years 1989/ 1990/ 1991/ and 1997. i was lucky, i could go where i wanted, and take photos. it is for the people who have not been there yet, i feel sorry for them. the more i learn, it makes me think that, will people go if thy cant take photos?. with very best wishes, mary.xx

(Deleted and reposted to hide Mary's email address)

Kate Phizackerley said...

I'd have no objection to paying a fee for taking a camera into the valley. Since the intention is to light the West Bank, the other option would be to open the tombs in the evenings to smaller groups, for larger fees and allow photography. Properly supervised there would be no risk to the tombs, a small group would be less damaging than big tour groups during the day, and with fees set relatively high, it could generate worthwhile income.

I still think that with imagination win-win solutions can be found.


Anonymous said...

I dont think it is about money this time i really think its about stopping people photographing something sensitive.

Kate Phizackerley said...


'Very interesting. I would be of the opinion that we will be drip- fed further information leading up to the 2010 season in the VOK and this may well involve a new "Tut".'

I'm intrigued as to what is announced first. My guess is that the first announcement will be interesting but not a blockbuster. In media terms that makes sense.

Like you I think there will be a new "Tut", probably more than one.

Dennis said...

I would be interested in hearing which specific parts of the mass unearthing job are re-opened. Where they open will give some clues as to what may be found. Above the 18th/19th dynasty flood floor all tombs are looted then cleared. Valley floor tombs such as 62 and 63 gave a chance of being OK. KV55 was looted clean but under the rest house??? Steve, the hydrologist, has just headed back to the valley implying that there will be some activity on the valley floor.

So, from what has been said it is clear that the 'big hole' near KV-8 should yield some (Non Treasure) information but the sites near and under the workers huts my yield your "tut"
Can anyone report back about where the new activity is?

Dave said...

I am going in mid-November but hope we have more information before then. I think it will be something that will be greatly interesting to those of us that study Egypt, but not so interesting to the general populous. I am annoyed that I can't take camera in but I will NOT be leaving my phone. I hope this is clarified soon.

Anonymous said...

The no pictures policy should remind the readers who live in countires with more rights to cherish their institutions and freedoms that protect us from restrictions of government knows best and information handed out at the whim of would be tyrants.

How about a bycott of visits to Egypt in response to its control of photography?

Scrabcake said...

Anonymous, I reckon that boycotting Egypt is a bit excessive and the ban on photos is probably not the greatest example of tyrannical governance in Egypt. Sure, it's annoying, but photography in the tombs has been pretty restricted in recent memory. (When I went eight years ago we had to slip the guards some baksheesh to photograph). Considering the danger that the tombs are in, I think no photos inside is a pretty good idea. As for photos outside, I'll admit it's a little draconian, and I can't think of a reason that they'd do it other than that they've found something and they want to control information on it. The monetary argument just doesn't make all that much sense. People are probably going to be able to forgo the family picture on the walkway in the valley with a million strangers in the background. They probably wouldn't make much money off of it. Better to get a family picture in front of the pyramids with a million strangers in the background!

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Mohamed Ali said...

اهم شركات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة

Mohamed Ali said...

الشرق الاوسط من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام متحصصه فى نقل عفش واثاث بالدمام ونقل العفش بالخبر كما انها توفر شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل والخبر وشركة نقل عفش بالقطيف والاحساء وجميع خدمات نقل العفش والاثاث بالمنطقة الشرقية بارخص اسعار نقل عفش بالدمام وتقدم ايضا شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام والخبر
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شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
شركة نقل عفش بالقطيف
شركة نقل اثاث بالاحساء

Mohamed Ali said...

شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام التفاؤل شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر كما انها افضل شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل نقل عفش واثاث بالجبيل والخبر والقطيف والدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شركة نقل اثاث بالقطيف


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