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

The Josh Duggar Incident Reveals The Tactics And Hypocrisy of SJWs
2015-05-30 1:46
Last week, In Touch Weekly broke the news that Josh Duggar, eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar from TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, had molested five under-aged girls in 2002 and 2003. Josh, who was 14 at the time, was accused of fondling his victims, touching their breasts and genitals while they slept. A police report was released shortly ...
15 More Men of South Asian Descent Charged With Child Sex Offences
2015-05-30 0:42
Police in Keighley, West Yorkshire have charged 14 men and a 16-year-old boy with sex offences including the rape of a girl under the age of 16. The offences relate primarily to one female victim, with one allegation involving a second who was also under 16 at the time. The offences are alleged to have occurred between 2011 and 2012. In ...
Anti-Semitic fliers left on Chevy Chase driveways
2015-05-29 22:45
Five streets in Chevy Chase, Md., were papered with anti-Semitic fliers on Wednesday morning. Montgomery County police are looking for the person or people who left the hate-filled leaflets on almost every driveway on the streets. “This is very disturbing. My community is definitely disturbed,” said Jean Sperling, the village manager of Martin’s Additions, the community where the fliers were found. Sperling ...
German court says ex-SS officer unfit for trial
2015-05-29 22:32
Prosecutors in the northern German city of Hamburg have dropped their probe into a 93-year-old former Nazi SS officer. Gerhard Sommer, who suffers from dementia, allegedly took part in a World War II massacre in Italy. Gerhard Sommer, a former company commander of a mechanized infantry division, had been accused of participating in the mass murder of 560 civilians by Nazi ...
The Age of Disinformation
2015-05-29 21:56
I have been a professional meteorologist for 36 years. Since my debut on television in 1979, I have been an eyewitness to the many changes in technology, society, and how we communicate. I am one who embraces change, and celebrates the higher quality of life we enjoy now thanks to this progress. But, at the same time, I realize the instant ...
More News »