Egypt warns pharaohs' tombs could disappear
2009 08 19

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

CIA torture is reason for France to exit NATO – Le Pen
2014-12-17 20:20
The shocking revelations of CIA torture techniques give France a reason to exit NATO, National Front party leader Marine Le Pen said on Saturday. The report on the CIA’s former interrogation practices has drawn wide criticism since its release. “If indeed everyone is outraged by the tortures used by the US then, let’s leave NATO,” Le Pen said during an interview ...
900 Documented Examples of Obama's Lawbreaking, Lying, Corruption, Cronyism, Hypocrisy & Waste
2014-12-17 20:00
By Tim Brown from sonsoflibertymedia.com: Our friend, Dan from Squirrel Hill, has updated his list to 900 documented examples of Barack Obama¡¯s lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, etc. He began with 252 examples, then quickly grew to 504 and later to 694. Recently, he added more than 200 more examples of the usurper-in-chief¡¯s unlawful acts. Every President, every politician, and every human ...
A Step Closer to the Mysterious Origin of the Viking Sword Ulfberht
2014 12 16
The universe is full of mysteries that challenge our current knowledge. In "Beyond Science" Epoch Times collects stories about these strange phenomena to stimulate the imagination and open up previously undreamed of possibilities. Are they true? You decide. Ulfberht was like a Medieval luxury brand for swords—but unlike your Gucci purse, the swords were of such high quality they were almost ...
Israel proposes natural gas pipeline to Southern Europe
2014-12-16 12:39
Israel is pushing for the European Union (EU) to approve the construction of a pipeline running from the Middle Eastern country to supply Cyprus, Greece and Italy with natural gas. The proposed EastMed pipeline will carry gas from the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields located in the Mediterranean Sea, to Southern Europe. As the Times of Israel reported in an ...
As Robots Grow Smarter, American Workers Struggle to Keep Up
2014 12 16
A machine that administers sedatives recently began treating patients at a Seattle hospital. At a Silicon Valley hotel, a bellhop robot delivers items to people’s rooms. Last spring, a software algorithm wrote a breaking news article about an earthquake that The Los Angeles Times published. Although fears that technology will displace jobs are at least as old as the Luddites, there ...
More News »