Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Despite a meeting between Abdel Fatah and the Prime Minister his status remains unclear and the protests continue.  It is hard to see any quick resolution to either problem.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/22571/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/An-initiative-towards-ending-Egypts-archaeologists.aspx

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/21883/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/-Head-of-Egypts-Supreme-Council-of-Antiquities-con.aspx

He says it is an impossible job because he requires the Prime Minister's approval for every decision so nothing happens and because of organised resistance protests from within the SCA.  Not good. Not good at all.

Thanks to Patrick

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I have posted about this one before, but my thanks to Robert Nielsen for directing me to a magazine article I had not seen in which Hawass says he believes it is a tomb, and possibly that of Ankhesenamun.  It's largely confirmation of what has been published before, although I don't recall the reference to meat, but anyway:


This year began as a banner one for Hawass. Shortly after New Year’s, he revealed that the long-lost tomb of Tutankhamun’s widow, Ankhesenamun, could soon be unearthed. “We recently found some foundation deposits in the western part of the Valley of the Kings, offerings of meat and pottery placed where a new tomb was to be built,” he says. “This is the best location for Ankhesenamun’s tomb, and the fact that no ­artifacts have been found anywhere else suggests it has never been disturbed.” The discovery of “Mrs. Tut” would no doubt be a worldwide sensation, drawing more attention (and tourist dollars) than any other find, short of another pristine royal tomb.
This is different to the Cross location and to the ARTP locations, and indeed to all the other locations in the main wadi.  I believe that this refers to the Western Valley of the Kings, what is sometimes called the Valley of the Monkeys.

There is nothing else about KV64 in the article, but if you would like to read it in full, it is a June edition American Way Magazine, from American Airlines.

Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, September 04, 2011

Andie Byrnes and I have been at the Ancient World Tours Conference for the past couple of days.  The last speaker was Stephen Cross and it turned out he has actual news about a possible tomb KV64.

He ran through his theory that Tutankhamun's tomb KV62, the latest discovery tomb KV63 and the enigmatic tomb KV55 remained intact because they were covered by a layer of water-borne sediment in a flash flood in (he believes)Year 1 of Ay's reign.  The sediment set like concrete and thereafter was frequently taken to be the bedrock so that excavation teams stopped when they reached it.  Tombs beneath it were sealed and hidden. He also ran through the story of the 2008/9 excavations in the Valley of the Kings.  Over the next couple of weeks, Andie and I will be doing a full write-up and review of many of the sessions for publication on Egyptological, and that will include Steve's talk. To avoid duplication, I won't cover Cross's theory and the 2008/9 excavation in more detail now.

At the end of his talk he turned to the possibility of a tomb KV64.  He listed some facts about KV62:

  • it is at an elevation of 170m above mean sea level; 
  • it is sited below an overhang in the rock;
  • there is a leveled area just outside the entrance.
After the 2008/9 excavations, he identified one location in the central area which matches these same facts.  The levelled area was confirmed by ground penetrating radar.  It is about 3 feet from the edge of the excavated area.  The radar also suggested what may be a tunnel filled with limestone chipping stretching from somewhere near that possible entrance location beneath the Rest House, although I don't think it was shown as reaching the theorised tomb entrance.

There is no proof, but it could turn out that KV64 has been identified, although there have been many false dawns on this story over the past 5 or 6 years.  (He says that the Reeves radar anomalies were mostly checked and were surface features such as minor fissures or even modern conduits.)

He was asked if there was any plan to dig the new anomaly.  At present, permissions are not in place and there is something of a hiatus with the change in regime at the SCA but he has lined up a very senior British Egyptologist who has agreed to be mission director and he says that he has "unlimited" funding available.  I guess it now will come down to stability in Egypt and securing permissions. 

He was asked whom he thought might be buried in the tomb.  His answer to that question was slightly unclear - or at least I struggled to follow it, perhaps because he was being a bit cagey.  He said though that as he isn't a professional Egyptologist he doesn't have a reputation to protect so he can speculate - and did.  (It's an attitude I share.  I am a firm believer in having courage to say things which might turn out to be wrong rather than procrastinated - but I digress.)  So far as I followed it, his theory runs like this ...

We know from KV55 that some mummies were transferred from the Royal Tomb at Amarna - possibly/probably the KV55 mummy and certainly Queen Tiye who ended up in KV35.  (Steve Cross also personally believes that Nefertiti was Tiye's daughter and would be moved to KV35 at the same time i.e. I think Cross sees KV35YL as the Younger Lady.  That is something Jo Fletcher covered in one of the other talks.)  So the question of who could be in KV64 gets recast as, who was buried in the Royal Tomb at Amarna and therefore transferred to the Valley of the Kings during the reign of Tutankhamun?  That would seem pretty definitely to be Akhenaten, Tiye and Meketaten.  Maybe Nefertiti?  I don't think anybody really knows.  Steve Cross though points attention at Chamber Alpha.  He says that has niches for magic bricks which is not an Atenistic burial practice, and that they cut through the decoration, suggesting that it was a late development in the tomb, after the death of Akhenaten.  He suspects that it was Meritaten who was buried in Chamber Alpha.   So any of those bodies could be in an unknown tomb in the Valley of the Kings ... which might help solve who is in KV55 as well if a new, intact tomb were to be discovered. 


He sees KV63 as a tomb used for staging the bodies, perhaps usurping an existing noble tomb.

Andie has notes as well, so we will compare notes before we write up the material forEgyptological - in fact in the interest of speed I have written this blog post from memory rather than my notes.  So the coverage in due course in Egyptological should be rather fuller and certainly better structured tha this hasty effort. 

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