Monday, July 31, 2006

Breaking News: KV64 - New tomb identified?

Thanks very much indeed to the nameless hero who emailed me the following piece of breaking news, which has been unfolding on the Amarna Royal Tombs Project (ARTP) website. Dr Nick Reeves, who updated the site earlier in the year with some contextualization re the discovery of KV63, has announced the possible discovery of a second new tomb.

On 28th July he wrote:
"Over the summer I have given much thought to the current state of play in the Valley, to the threat of further uncontrolled excavation and to a peculiar dilemma I find myself in: for the prospect of yet more tombs is based upon rather more than mere academic hypothesis. Just as ARTP’s radar survey of the central Valley first highlighted KV63 in 2000, so our project discovered clear evidence also for the existence and location of what appears to be a second new burial, ‘KV64’ - the tomb to which KV63 quite likely relates. Ought I now to be drawing attention to the freshly reviewed evidence for this tomb - if a tomb is what our feature indeed transpires to be? Or should I be maintaining a discreet silence in the hope that the present archaeological uncertainty in the Valley will eventually pass?
Because of the intensity of interest KV63 has aroused among those currently in control I have concluded that the best option is to reveal publicly not only this second tomb’s apparent existence but its precise location also. There is deliberate method in this course of action. First of all it will prevent the possibility of yet another ‘accidental’ discovery and hurried clearance: publicising the existence of the feature in advance of its physical exposure ought to allow time for a considered, scientific approach to its investigation to be insisted upon by the wider archaeological community and arranged through the SCA. Secondly, disclosure now will limit the amount of collateral archaeological damage otherwise likely to be sustained in the sort of random search which is all but imminent. Thirdly, with the publicity the announcement of a new tomb is likely to generate there is a chance that sanity will prevail and the message at last get through that all future excavations in the Valley must be carried out systematically and at a state-of-the-art level."

Today Dr Reeves has updated the site again with some more information, including a radar image of the site concerned:
"From its location this tomb could prove to be a find of the greatest possible significance. By inference from the neighbouring tombs KV62 (Tutankhamun) and KV63 I believe it is likely to represent yet another burial of immediate post-Amarna date - not impossibly home to one or more of the missing Amarna dead about whom I first speculated in 1997 and to whose actual existence KV63 now points. Situated in a part of the Valley which was out of bounds to earlier excavators, moreover, the new find is almost certain to be undisturbed."

The site has plans and more information. It will be fascinating to see how this proceeds.

No comments: