Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Midst golden dunes and azure skies, its magic steeped in history,
The ancient land of Egypt hides a tomb that holds a mystery.
Who was the king or was she queen, the one for whom the tomb was meant?
What were the titles, rich or mean, that led to this predicament?

Historians have checked the clues, have read the text and ancient script.
The gurus all come up with views of who lay in that desert crypt!
The tomb was numbered fifty-five, the Valley where the Pharaohs sleep;
Their bodies dead, their souls alive, with everlasting fields to reap.

But which of them was laid to rest in this deserted limestone cave;
To face the trial, the sacred test, to gain the freedom from the grave?
They dug the ground to find the door and when they entered the dark room
They found a mummy on the floor - Akhenaten’s sought-for tomb?

The name erased and mask askew, the tomb upset, who was to blame?
How earnestly they sought a clue to lead them to the owner’s name.
The walls were bare, all hopes were dashed, the coffin just on trestles lay.
The seals were rent, the screens were smashed, no written word to guide their way.

The body scanned, the bones unsealed, results were checked: “You’ve found a queen”!
A woman’s corpse had been revealed; the puzzle stayed, who had she been?
It was a most important find, was it Kiye or maybe Ti?
But then there came a change of mind, the body proved to be a ‘he’!

It was before the Carter find and all had sought the Boy-King’s vault.
Davis searched with all his mind, but finally he called a halt.
Conclusions drawn, “He was a King, but who he was we cannot say!
Without a crown, without a ring, his title’s lost in every way.”

The Pharaohs from the Thutmose line were taken from sarcophagi.
Their mummies stacked in some dark mine to thwart the thieves and fool the eye.
Names were found for everyone except those of the Aten clan.
Could Tutankhamun be this one? For now they knew it was a man.

“But no,” they said, “he is too old and yet too young for other Kings.
We’re certain someone stole the gold and took away the better things.”
Of those that lived in times afar, their mummies with their names survive.
My theory favours Smenkhkara to be the ghost of fifty-five.

I've always tried to mix news with some more cultural material, so here is a poem about tomb KV55 in the Valley of the Kings, submitted by Anthony Holmes, author of "Tutankhamun Speak Thy Name". 

For those who don't know about Tomb 55, it is the most mysterious tomb in the Valley.  Sealed with Tutankhamun's sealed, it is believed it was closed for the last time in his reign.  It could have been a treasure trove, but contained only one mummy, some magic bricks bearing the name of Ankhenaten, a fragment of Queen Tiye's shrine and some debris.  The mummy was apparently male but had been re-wrapped and defaced.  Sadly it has also been badly damaged by water.  Search for KV55 on this blog for more information.



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