The same lecture (see previous post about tomb KV64) suggests that some of the secrets of the Great Pyramid will be announced in December 2009. Apparently, Dr Hawass said a major discovery was made by the robot team at the end of July. Please refer to the previous post for a link.
I've just read the Heritage Key article on Zahi's lecture in Indianapolis on 7th August. I wish I had read this sooner.
Dr. Hawass also spoke extensively on the exciting work taking place in the Valley of the Kings. For centuries, archaeology has been the province of nearly every nation except Egypt. In 2007, Zahi Hawass set out to change this with the first all-Egyptian team to work the Valley of the Kings. It seems that he is prepared to make history yet again, as his team hopes to reveal a new tomb in October of 2009. He did not give details, but provided plenty of fuel for speculation. Three notable women come to the forefront.
Refer to the article for speculation about who was buied in tomb KV64. This seems to be a very substantial indication that a tomb has been found. (Personally my betting is still on 3 or more tombs but we may have to wait a few years to find out.). There is also mention that he hopes to "reveal the tomb of Nefertiti during winter 2009/2010". It's ambiguous whether this is a separate tomb or a suggestion that the October announement will be of Nefertiti's tomb. My guess is that KV64 won't be Nefertiti but will be some other royal woman. If Nefertiti's tomb is found, it's probably beneath the rest house. (For the record I'm also predicting at least one pharaoh's tomb as well over the next couple of years.) I don't believe a tomb would be announced until it had been thoroughly searched so I don't believe the timeline works for Nefertiti to be announced in October - if her tomb has been found.
It's easy to believe that the story of the Exodus is Jewish and Christian history and forget that it is also part of the Muslim heritage too. With that in mind, I thought I'd present this video which suggests Ramses the Great was the Pharaoh of the Exodus but instead or drawing on quotations from the Bible or Torah, it draws upon the Quran - of course the three great religions share a common ancestry which is sometimes overlooked.
If you view the video over at YouTube there is quite a lot of text to read as well. For anybody purely interested in the history the video will offer little new, but for those who are interested in Exodus it might interest you. The video claims that the mummy had a very high salt content which indicated death by drowning, If anybody knows published scientific material to back this (otherwise unsubstantiated) claim, I'd be very interested.
(PS can we please be temperate with comments on this. I know the question of the Bible, Quaran and Torah as historical record is a controversial one. (I happen to believe they do record real historical events). As always I invite debate, but I will censor any comments which in my opinion cross the boundary between debate and an attack on religion.)
As some of you know, I'm trying to build a resource of static pages on some of the key figures from the 18th Dynasty - at present the late 18th Dynasty until the end of Horemheb's reign. For my page on the treasures from Tutankhamun's tomb, I've just found a new 2 minute video which is a really nice watch:
(PS If you visit my page on KV62 then feel free to browse on to my other Ancient Egypt pages. I'll advertise them here when I'm happy with them - the corpus is a work in progress at present. Avoid my pages on people like Ay and Akhenaten - they are little more than shells. I confess that I find it more interesting writing pages about the women like Ankhesenamun than about the men. I need to write up Nefertiti but I'm working on the basis that it's easiest to write up the women around here before I tackle her biography. Nefertiti is just such a huge subject. I find it takes me hours and hours to write each one so don't expect the project to be finished anytime soon, but I got fed up with the poor quality of some of the material on Wikipedia and felt I can do better. In most cases I can ... but I had underestimated the effort involved very considerably.)
As Andie Byrne is away, here's a story about Ancient Egypt which isn't strictly Luxor or the Valley of the Kings.
Actually he talks more about music in the Temple of Jerusalem, but it's still interesting. During the video he mentions chironomy. To save you trouble, here's the link to the site he mentioned - Chironomy in the Ancient World - and yes, he does pay the lyre towards the end of the video. BTW I do recommend visiting the page on Chironomy in the Ancient World. It's a high quality site.
Dr Hawass has written an article about Queen Mutnodjmet in El-Ahram Weekly. Queen Mutnodjmet was the wife of Horemheb.
Simply put, it is believed that Queen Mutnodjmet was buried in Horemheb's original tomb in Saqqara and her sarcophagus was found. Sadly – as has happened all to often – her bones have subsequently been lost. The Egyptian Museum is starting to develop a record of extremely lax curatorial habits in terms of cataloguing the location of exhibits. It is possible on this occasion that the bones didn’t reach the museum – acquisition records seem to be similarly chaotic – so Dr Hawass in his article reports re-entering the tomb to see if the bones remained within her sarcophagus.
One interesting titbit in the article is that Dr Hawass reports Mutnodjmet may have been the sister of Nefertiti. That’s something I hadn’t heard before and I will research it. It fits into article because Dr Hawass spends time talking about the DNA project. Elsewhere he has now said he expects to report on the DNA of Tutankhamun next month.
The final paragraph of the article is interesting.
I have high hopes that we will be successful in our search to locate the bones of Queen Mutnodjmet. Among other things, we could push our DNA research that much further and identify the mummy of Queen Nefertiti. We could determine the identity of Tutankhamun's father and mother, find the mummy of Queen Tiye, and even discover the remains of Tutankhamun's wife. It was wonderful to descend the tomb shaft at Saqqara -- a real adventure. Adventures in archaeology can often help us to reveal the secrets of the Pharaohs.Here he is suggesting that the mummy of Nefertiti may already be in a museum – otherwise how could DNA research help to “identify” her mummy? This seems to contradict his reports of looking for the tomb of Nefertiti in the Valley of the Kings – perhaps the tomb being sought under the rest house. Similarly he suggests DNA could help to “discover the remains of Tutankhamun’s wfe” (ie Queen Ankhesenamun). Unless of course a new cache of poorly identified mummies of royal women has been found?
I couldn't resist the picture by vintagedept!
This is first time I have seen major media mention tomb KV64 - there's an article in Le Figaro. Most of the article is familiar territory - the tombs in the Valley of the kings are at risk, and Dr Hawass has cleared 155m in the tunnel of Seti I (KV17).
The paragrpah about KV64 doesn't say very much at all:
Zahi Hawass, who should leave his post next year, caught by the age limit, had far different priorities. Nearly a century after Howard Carter, he dreams todiscover tKV64, the sixty-fourth tomb which he hopes is intact, like that of Tutankhamun. "It doesn't matter what will be inside. But we never found the tomb of Thutmose II, nor that of Ramesses VIII, "he said with a smile full of promise. Tons of rubble have been cleared. There's been no success yet. "But we have uncovered houses of artisans and thousands of objects," says he, proudly turning the pages of his mission report.
It's hardly either revealing or promsing, but the indication is there again that Dr Hawass fully intends to locate and reveal KV64 before he is forced to step down. (Personally I still think at least on tomb has been found and opened and that there is at least one other location that those excavating believe to be a royal tomb.)
I appreciate the growing number of Twitter followers, thank you. I'm spending increasing time though screening out Twitterers offering adult services. They sign up to follow, but have just one Tweet which is an advert for adult services. In reviewing the Twitter account, I've effectively been spammed. I'm therefore going to adopt the policy of blocking any suspicous Twitter accounts without reviewing them. My apologies in advance if I block you by mistake. If that happens, please contact me using the contact form and I'll unblock you.
There's also a problem with Twitter accounts if your tweets are blocked. If you don't publish to the public Twitter timeline and would like to follow me, then please send me a message via the contact form when you sign up to follow.
If you are a regularTwitter follower then none of this matters to you - just follow normally and I'll accept you. Hopefully someday soon Twitter will get to grips with the number of spammy Twitter accounts, but until then I;m sorry if I inconvenience anybody.
If you wish to comment on a picture, click on the link provided. This will take you to the main Wordpress blog to leave your comment. (For technical reasons, it's too hard to migrate that fully to here.) When you have finished, you can come back to this blog of you want (I'll provide links in the Wordpress blog), or you can continue browsing there.
It's actually another article on the re-opening on KV57 (Horemheb). The only thing I don't recall reading before is news that Tutankhamun's mummy will be protected by a linen cover.
Following on from the depressing story on the condition of Highclere Castle, Dr Hawass as said that the tombs in the Valley of the Kings are doomed if they remain open to visitors.
The levels of humidity and fungus are increasing because of the breath of visitors and this means that the tombs could disappear between 150 and 500 years.
Hawass said the authorities have also decided "to close some tombs definitively to tourists and replace them by identical replicas," including those of Tutenkhamun, Nefertiti and Seti I.
Read the full article here.
There is a nice-isg photo with the post - but I prefer Dalbera's photos on Flickr (one shown above and another below). The photos on Hawass's blog is a poorly shot.
British readers will remember the TV series Restoration in which viewers voted for which derelict building would receive a nulti-million pound grant for restoration. It seems that Highclere Castle, home of the Earls of Carnarvon, should perhaps have been a candidate. Far from the grandeaur of the state roooms, many parts of the Castle are in a disastrous state. The Daily Mail online has the story - and photos. (Thanks to Andie Byrne.)
Lord Carnarvon himself was no stranger to noney problems. He even intended in 1921 to stop excavation in the Valley of the Kings and had his arm twisted by Howard Carter to fund one last year ... which of course was a fateful decision.
I'll post properly (late tonight) - this is an update from my mobile phone. There are two new stories. Dr Hawass has news of a tomb re-opening and Andie Byrne covers the appalling state of Highclere Castle. Links are in the white sidebar below recent comments - I'll circulate something detailed tonight.
There's also a story about an Ebony Shrine found at Deir-el-Bahri which Tim posted on his blog a few days ago When I read it there didn't seem to be an article but it's working now. Again I'll cover tonight.
Andie Byrne reports problems with Google Alerts/Reader reporting some old stories as new. It's happening to me too. On one of my other blogs I bemoan the passing of Newsgator so as a recent forced 'convert' to Google Reader it's really irritated me. Writing the long-promised update to the newsreader for the sidebar has suddenly become more urgent. I thought of a much easier way to do it last week as well re-using most of the code which displays comments. If over the next couple of weeks you see oddities in the sidebar then please forgive - I can only do so much testing elsewhere.
In addition to the Davies tracings from the Tombs of the Nobles mention in the previous post, the Griffith Institute have also uploaded various of Howard Carter's notes about the tomb of Tutankhamun. If you are interested, this seems to be the best index page.
They have also posted a great page of old photographs of the clearance of KV62. These aren't the official photographs you may have seen before but photographs taken by anonymous photographers outside the tomb - in short they are the 1920s equivalent of the type of photos usually featured on this blog! It's great to know that the practice of reportage from the Valley of the Kings I have adopted has such a long and distinguished pedigree!
The Griffith Institute have made some tracings of Tombs of the Nobles by the Davies available online. (Thanks to Jane Akshare for the alert.) So far only 5 tombs are online but they plan to add the rest over time.