Monday, November 03, 2008

Adventures in the Valley of the Kings. Part II

Al Ahram Weekly (Zahi Hawass)

Many years ago, when I was working as an inspector of antiquities in Luxor, I went one night by the light of the full moon with Sheikh Nagdi, head of the guards in the Valley of the Kings, to climb Al-Qurn, the pyramid-shaped mountain that rises above the valley. I went to sleep at the top of the mountain. At sunrise I opened my eyes and looked at all of the tombs in the valley from the top of the mountain, thinking about all the great discoveries that had been made there, and the many adventurers and archaeologists who had both good and difficult ones. When I came down to the valley, I found Sheikh Nagdi waiting, laughing and drinking tea. He said to me, "I have never seen anyone climb the mountain at night." I sat with him, and he began to tell me many stories about the archaeologists who had worked in the valley, including tales that his father, Sheikh Abdel-Maugoud, used to tell him. I even found out from him that Evelyn Herbert, the daughter of Lord Carnarvon, used to enter the tomb of Tutankhamun at night with Howard Carter. All of the books say that Evelyn loved Carter, but he did not return her affections. The sheikh's story, however, shows that this was not true at all.

See the above page for the full story.

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