Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Recent investigation in the Valley of the Kings (Zahi Hawass)

Thanks to Rick Menges for letting me know that Zahi Hawass has published an online article about the most recent work taking place in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor. The main focus of the piece is work carried out at the tomb of Seti I and a project to locate the tomb of Ramesses VIII. It is written in a very autobiographical and anectodal style. The article is accompanied by some very good photographs.

The team that I have appointed to search for the tomb of Ramesses VIII is headed by Afifi Rohiem, who has worked with me for many years at Giza. We began our work to the north, south, and west of the tomb of Merenptah. We have rediscovered ancient graffiti recorded by the great scholar Jaroslav Czerny. One of these was written by the 18th Dynasty vizier Userhat, who says that he built a tomb for his father, Amennakht, in this area. The site is littered with large blocks, which we are moving in our search for lost tombs – and we are finding tantalizing clues that something is hidden here. In the area to the south of Merenptah’s tomb, we found a cutting in the bedrock, but the rubble at the entrance to whatever lies beyond has been disturbed. If there is a tomb here, it is unlikely to be intact. However, another cutting, to the north, appears to be undisturbed. We have also found workmen’s huts, which we have recorded carefully. We are planning to bring in very sophisticated radar that can see 20 meters down, and hope that this will help guide us in our work.

See the above for more.

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