Libyan Desert Glass
is strewn over an area of hundreds of square kilometers in the Great Sand Sea, a region desolate even by the high standards of the Sahara. As one account of a recent trip to acquire Libyan Desert Glass
puts it: "Out there, death sits on your shoulder like a vulture." While some would have you believe that Libyan Desert Glass is evidence of ancient atomic warfare, it is probably evidence
of a massive meteorite or comet explosion nearly thirty million years ago
, similar to Tunguska, but much bigger. The stone age Aterian peoples made tools
from it, but the remoteness and inhospitality of the Great Sand Sea has ensured that until recent times it has mostly been undisturbed. However, a breast ornament buried in Tutankhamen's tomb
has a scarab made from Libyan Desert Glass, the only piece made of the material to have been found by Egyptologists, and how Tutankhamen's jewelers acquired it has remained a mystery
. Until now
Ten thousand tourists have tramped above the spot where the latest find has just been made. Other archeologists, looking for the needle entrance to the royal tomb of Tutankhamen in the limestone haystack of el Qorn, came within a few feet of where, after sixteen years of labor, the late Lord Carnarvon and Mr. Howard Carter found their reward.
National Geographic republished the photos (flash gallery)
and the text of the 1923 account of the opening of the tomb of King Tutankhamun
. [more inside]
King Tut's face revealed to the world
The face of Egypt's most famous
ancient ruler, King Tutankhamun
, has been put on public display for the first time.
Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation
The University of Oxford's Griffith Institute has put together a fantastic digital collection of records
documenting Howard Carter's
excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun, including ninety-three pages of photographs
taken by Harry Burton during the excavation. You can also read Carter's diaries
and eyewitness accounts
of the excavation.
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."