Egypt warns pharaohs' tombs could disappear
2009-08-19 0:00

TheAge.com.au

The ornate pharaonic tombs in Egypt's Valley of the Kings are doomed to disappear within 150 to 500 years if they remain open to tourists, the head of antiquities has warned.


A view of King Tutenkhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings, close to Luxor in 2007. The ornate pharaonic tombs in Egypt's Valley of the Kings are doomed to disappear within 150 to 500 years if they remain open to tourists, the head of antiquities has warned. (AFP/File/Cris Bouroncle)

Zahi Hawass said humidity and fungus were eating into the walls of the royal tombs in the huge necropolis on the west bank of the Nile across from Luxor, which is swamped daily by several thousand tourists.

Poor ventilation and the breath of the hordes of visitors are causing damage to the carvings and painted decorations inside the tombs, he told journalists on a tour of the royal necropolis on Monday.

"The tombs [in the Valley of the Kings and nearby Valley of the Queens] which are open to visitors are facing severe damage to both colours and the engravings," Hawass said.

"The levels of humidity and fungus are increasing because of the breath of visitors and this means that the tombs could disappear between 150 and 500 years."

The Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens, where pharaonic royalty was mummified, is home to the tombs of legendary pharaohs such as the boy king Tutenkhamun and Queen Nefertiti.

Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities has taken a series of measures to protect the tombs, including setting up new ventilation systems, restricting the number of visitors and closing some tombs.

Hawass said the authorities have also decided "to close some tombs definitively to tourists and replace them by identical replicas", including those of Tutenkhamun, Nefertiti and Seti I.

"A team of experts is currently using laser technology to examine these tombs in order to build the replicas ... which would then open to visitors in a place near the Valley of the Kings," Hawass said.

King Tutenkhamun's tomb caused an international sensation when it was discovered in 1922 by Briton Howard Carter and has not ceased to fuel the imagination because of the fabulous treasures that emerged from it.

The mummy of the "boy king", who was made pharaoh at the age of nine, was found in an ornate sarcophagus his face covered by a solid gold burial mask encrusted with semi-precious stones.

The 18th-dynasty pharaoh reigned between1333 and 1324 BC and died mysteriously at the age of 19. Some experts say he was assassinated, others blame the death on a gangrenous leg.

His ancestry is also a mystery and Hawass said in June that DNA testing would be conducted to determine his parentage.

The pharaoh Akhenaten was thought to have fathered King Tutenkhamun and his mother could have been Nefertiti, a foreign princess, or his wet nurse Maya.

Nefertiti, renowned as one of history's great beauties, was the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten, remembered for having converted his kingdom to monotheism with the worship of one sun god, Aton.

But in March German researchers in Berlin said they have uncovered a second, hidden face within an iconic bust of Nefertiti, which indicates she might not have been the flawless beauty depicted on the bust's exterior.

The bust is on display in Berlin's Altes Museum and has been at the centre of a row with Egypt, which has repeatedly demanded its restitution.

Seti I was one of ancient Egypt's greatest rulers and a formidable military commander from the 19th dynasty. His tomb in the Valley of the Kings is the largest discovered but archaeologist have yet to tap all its mysteries.

Article from: TheAge.com.au


Red Ice Creations Radio - Ralph Ellis - Egypt, The Hyksos, Pharaohs and the Bible

Red Ice Creations Radio - John Anthony West - Ancient Egypt

Michael Tsarion - Part 6 - The Twelve Lost Tribes, from Egypt to Rome

Our First Six Part Series with Michael Tsarion

Our Interviews with Jake Kotze

Philip Coppens - The Canopus Revelation

Wayne Herschel - The Hidden Records

Interview with Raplh Ellis on the Conscious Media Network



Related Articles
Where's Nefertiti? - Nefertiti Resurrected (Video)
CT scan reveals hidden face under Nefertiti bust
King Tut Face Unveiled For First Time
Sandia Supercomputer Helps Researchers Discover Origin of Mysterious Glass Found in King Tut's Tomb
Egyptian caverns in The Grand Canyon - David Hatcher Childress
Obama Finds Look-Alike Hieroglyph In Tomb in Egypt (Video)
Obama Picks Egypt as Speech Venue
Love eternal? Egyptian dig hopes to uncover Cleopatra and Mark Antony side by side
C.W. Post Egyptologist Bob Brier Identifies Cause of Cracks in Great Pyramid
Sphinx statues found in Egypt
Egypt 'to copyright antiquities'
Egypt's Oldest Known Art Identified, Is 15,000 Years Old


Latest News from our Front Page

Virginia TV Shooter Said, "Jehovah Spoke To Me That I Should Take Action"
2015-08-28 2:36
What causes a guy to go off the plantation enough so that he would murder in cold blood, two of his former colleagues? Guesses are abounding, such as racial tension, mental illness, psychotropic prescription drugs, narcissism, etc. What about the angle of how a destructive religious cult shaped him in his formative years, so that later in life, he would ...
Invasion into Macedonia from Greece - Border Mayhem
2015-08-28 2:06
Description from video page: These are the desperate scenes at Greeceā€™s border with FYR Macedonia as overwhelmed security forces made sporadic attempts to stem the flow of invaders heading northwards. Riot police set off stun grenades and hit invaders with batons but that did little to stop them passing into FYR Macedonia. Skopje had declared a state of emergency on Thursday (August ...
RamZPaul: TV Reporter Murdered Live On Air
2015-08-28 1:48
Youtube description: The gunman responsible for the live on air shooting of reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward said part of his motivation for the attack was Parker making “racist comments.” infowars.com Vid that killer made: (note the actual shooting vid is being censored fast) https://youtu.be/v_AhFxhznPI Jesse Benn advocating "White Wounding: just weeks ago:huffingtonpost.com Source: youtube.com
White House Pushes Race War, Then Blames Guns For Flanagan's "Race War"
2015-08-27 5:04
"You want a race war (expletive)?" Asked shooter The Obama administration is blaming guns for the WBDJ-TV shooting, even though the shooter, Vester Flanagan, was influenced by the White House’s race baiting. The White House has been falsely insinuating that racism is the dominant factor behind numerous events over the past several years, even those that didn’t involve race at all, and ...
How Google Destroyed the Internet
2015-08-27 5:12
The internet was created to resolve a simple problem: in communications networks, any central node through which all messages passed was vulnerable to attack or takeover. To counter this, engineers designed a network where any node would pass messages to other nodes, routing around any damage. Then came commerce and the democratization of the internet. Under this model, frightened sheep flock to ...
More News »