Thursday, July 22, 2010

Seti, please tell us your secret II

Al Ahram Weekly (Zahi Hawass)

For the first time we can now say that we have revealed the secrets of the tunnel in the tomb of Seti I. The tunnel was first excavated by Sheikh Ali Abdel-Rassoul and his workmen to a depth of about 130 metres. They did not continue past that point, however, because the tunnel did not continue straight and they did not turn to cut and excavate into the mountain. However, when we went through this section of the tunnel we were able to discover new artefacts that dated to the reign of Seti I, such as pottery, ushabti figurines and blocks inscribed with the name of Seti I. We also uncovered steps with graffiti in red writing.

The excitement of the excavation started when we began to clean out the tunnel and remove the debris left behind by Abdel-Rassoul's workmen. As we progressed through the tunnel, we had to support the ceiling with a series of iron beams and also construct a wooden walkway for us to use. I was very interested in a railway with cars which we used to bring out all the debris and stone rubble that was removed from the tunnel.

Upon reaching the end of the 130-metre section which had been partially excavated by Abdel-Rassoul, we were shocked to uncover a descending passage which measured 25.60 metres in length and 2.6 in width.

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