Monday, January 17, 2011

More re excavation work in the tomb of Seti I

Asharq Alawsat (Zahi Hawass)

There were a number of articles about this topic over the last year, but this one rounds up most of the information.

Mystery has long surrounded the long passageway discovered inside the tomb of King Seti I, and the last person to try and uncover the secrets of this passageway was a man named Sheikh Ali Abdel Rasoul, more than 50 years ago. However after Sheikh Al Abdel Rasoul excavated 130 meters down into this dark passageway, his workman found it increasingly difficult to breath or move due to the accumulation of dust particles and lack of sufficient oxygen, not to mention the piling up of the rubble that they had excavated. As a result of these constraints, Sheikh Ali Abdel Rasoul had a narrow sub-tunnel for himself and his men dug alongside the original passageway. As a result of these difficult conditions, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) pulled the plug on the excavation efforts, however Sheikh Ali Abdel Rasoul continued to believe that this passageway led to the real tomb of King Seti I, and that his treasures were still buried at the end of this tunnel.

Until now, I still don't know why Sheikh Ali Abdel Rasoul was so committed to this belief, and I met with him a number of times in 1973, and I even accompanied him to the entrance of the tunnel inside the tomb of King Seti I in the Valley of the Kings. Sheikh Ali Abdel Rasoul never explained to me why he was so certain that the treasures of King Seti were inside this tunnel, and archaeologists were unable to even try to dig inside this passageway for fear of causing the tomb to collapse. However the decisive moment came in 2007 when I, along with my team, attempted to unravel the secrets of this mysterious tunnel that began inside the tomb of King Seti I.

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