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Valley of the Kings

Many Royal Tombs Still Awaiting Discovery in Egypt's Valley of Kings

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According to Egyptologists, the Valley of the Kings still contains many royal tombs and hidden treasures waiting to be uncovered.  Their conclusion is based on one of the most extensive exploration projects in the valley since the 1920s.

During the period from 2007 and 2010, an enormous project was undertaken to excavate the Valley of the Kings, where royalty was buried some 3,000 years ago during the New Kingdom (1550–1070 B.C.). The project, which utilised latest technology such as ground-penetrating radar, led to a number of discoveries, including an ancient flood control system, workers’ huts and ancient graffiti.  However, the ground work led to a huge amount of data which is still undergoing analysis.

"The corpus was so extensive it will take years, maybe decades, to fully study and report on," wrote  Afifi Ghonim, an archaeologist with the Ministry of State for Antiquities in Egypt who is now chief inspector of Giza.

Ghonim announced that there is “still the possibility of finding a royal tomb” as some pharaohs of the New Kingdo, such as Ramsses VIII, as well as a number of queens of the late Eighteenth Dynasty are still missing.

Such a view echoes the opinion expressed by famous and controversial Egyptologist Dr Zahi Hawass in June: "The tomb of Thutmose II, not found yet, the tomb of Ramesses VIII is not found yet, all the queens of dynasty 18 [1550-1292 B.C.] were buried in the valley and their tombs not found yet," said Hawass. "This could be another era for archaeology."

If a tomb is found, it is possible that it may already have been looted many centuries ago, or the occupant may have been moved to another location. However, there is also the opportunity to find intact tombs with untold treasures surrounding the king or queen for whom the tomb was made. Such a discovery may just hold the power to bring the tourists back to Egypt, which is now so desperately needed.

By April Holloway

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