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New Pharaonic Tomb Discovered
February 10, 2006 8:16 AM   Subscribe

The Valley of the Kings not done yet? British archaeologists have discovered a new tomb in the Valley of the Kings - the first such find since Howard Carter found Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922. Ironically, the new tomb was a mere 5 meters from Tutankhamun's. The tomb includes unopened sarcophagi and 5 undisturbed mummies. Patricia Podzorski, curator of Egyptian Art at the University of Memphis, said "People have been saying the valley was done for 100 years. They said it before Howard Carter found King Tutankhamun's tomb and they said it after. But, obviously, they are still wrong."
posted by robhuddles (19 comments total)

 
This is the type of single-link FPP I think is fantastic. I still get excited when I hear that there is still more to come out of what has to be the most worked/explored Valley in archaelogical terms in the world. Thanks
posted by Wilder at 8:21 AM on February 10, 2006


Very cool! I love it when something like this happens.
Guess they'll have to update this site now.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:22 AM on February 10, 2006


British? The article says University of Memphis, and their press release is here.
posted by matthewr at 8:25 AM on February 10, 2006


Ironic how?
posted by unixrat at 8:31 AM on February 10, 2006


I still get excited when I hear that there is still more to come out of what has to be the most worked/explored Valley in archaelogical terms in the world.

Says a lot for how little we know.
posted by three blind mice at 8:32 AM on February 10, 2006


Wow. And who knows how many more there may be, if this one could be 5 metres from King Tut and lie undiscovered for another 84 years. We'd have to have the technology to sound dirt the way we can water before we could really be sure we'd found it all.
posted by orange swan at 8:57 AM on February 10, 2006


The reason that Tutankhamun's tomb lay unknown and, more importantly, unrobbed, was that his memory had been eradicated by the officials of later dynasties, probably because of his association with the short-lived monotheistic experiment of Akhenaton. His existence was only discovered when 19th century archaeologists found a commemorative frieze bearing his inscriptions - the frieze had been broken and buried under a pile of rubble. This is the reason Carter was convinced the tomb still existed, and why he had such high hopes for it - the tomb-robbers of antiquity didn't even know he existed. Of course, now "King Tut" is the most famous Pharoah of them all, but only because of the (otherwise succesful) effort to erase him from history. Irony++!
posted by dinsdale at 8:59 AM on February 10, 2006


We'd have to have the technology to sound dirt the way we can water...
We do.
Don't know if they use it in conjunction with this sort of survey, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:02 AM on February 10, 2006


Clearly the devil is putting all that stuff under the ground to test our faith.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:05 AM on February 10, 2006


Great link.
I forwarded it to my mummy.
posted by zonkout at 9:42 AM on February 10, 2006


University of Memphis' KV-10 team. Egyptology Blog (more pictures!) and Egyptology News are following updates pretty closely. Good stuff!
posted by steef at 9:56 AM on February 10, 2006


We'd have to have the technology to sound dirt the way we can water...
We do.
Don't know if they use it in conjunction with this sort of survey, though.


Why wouldn't they? Wouldn't it work?
posted by orange swan at 10:31 AM on February 10, 2006


Mightn't the sounding damage fragile artifacts?

I remember seeing oil located with a pounding machine that generated shockwaves that were then detected by seismographs.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:33 AM on February 10, 2006


matthewr - Sorry, my bad. You are absolutely correct. I saw the story on BBC ... it merely said "archaeologists" ... I made a faulty and totally baseless assumption. Thanks for pointing that out.
posted by robhuddles at 10:37 AM on February 10, 2006


Yeah, and that's the Memphis in Tennessee, not the one in Egypt.

Go Tigers!
posted by naomi at 11:14 AM on February 10, 2006


rh: No worries.
posted by matthewr at 12:21 PM on February 10, 2006


They definitely do use ground penetrating radar in Egypt. It was my mom's area in grad school and in 2002 they flew her and her adviser out there for a few weeks to work with some researchers from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That was at Dashur, not the Valley of the Kings, but with the same goal in mind.

It's not a magic process though. You drag the sensor along by hand pretty slowly, and it only covers about two feet in width on each pass. The display is also really hard to read, since things closer to the surface mask lower features and changes in soil produce a lot of junk. They were really just doing a proof of concept rather than a proper study.

(And that's all I know about GPR.)
posted by smackfu at 12:39 PM on February 10, 2006


GPR is expensive and this isn't a terribly well funded project. According to a colleague on the dig, they were pretty pissed to get the assignment they did from the Egyptian ministry that hands out sites (the better sites go to better schools). They just happened to get lucky and find this one under the rubble of a worker's camp.
posted by jmgorman at 1:53 PM on February 10, 2006


awesome for not just egyptologists.
posted by Busithoth at 4:14 PM on February 10, 2006


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