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NEWS: Outcomes of the Second International Tutankhamun Conference

“‘It is essential to perform more scans using other devices atthe Tutankhamun Tomb (KV62) at the Valley of the Kings- Luxor using more technical and scientific methods and radar devices’ is one of a number of recommendations reached at the end of the Second International Tutankhamun Conference that was held today (May 8th 2016) at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC).

Antiquities Minister Dr. Khaled El-Enany emphasized at the open scientific discussion that came at the end of the conference that no drilling will be done at the tomb’s walls unless we are 100% certain that there is a cavity behind them. Egyptology and radar experts participated in the final session among them former antiquities ministers Dr. Zahi Hawas and Dr. Mamdouh Eldamaty, the Japanese radar expert Prof. Watanabe, Dr. Yaser El-Shayeb from the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University and a number of Egyptian archaeologists and stakeholder.

In his lecture, former Antiquities Minister Dr. Zahi Hawas said that radar scan is not sufficient alone to make a new archaeological discovery stressing that he is against the British scientist Nicholas Reeves’ hypothesis that Queen Nefertiti’s tomb exist behind that of King Tut’s. Hawas added that a scientific committee consisting of archaeologists, radar experts and remote sensing experts should be formed immediately to supervise the works inside the tomb.

Former antiquities minister Dr. Eldamaty also gave a lecture entitled “the Rediscovery of the Tutankhamun Tomb” in which he summed up all the work steps that have been made at the radar scan project at the Golden Pharaoh’s tomb, expressing that the results reached so point out that there is a 50% possibility of a cavity behind the Tomb’s walls.

In a related context, Dr. Tarek Tawfik – General Supervisor on the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) Project added that among the recommendations of this conference came the formation of an Egyptian Archaeological Committee with the assistance of foreign experts aiming at drawing a road map for the transfer process of the Golden Pharaoh’s fragile artifacts that are sensitive to light and motion. Also the Tutankhamun’s Research Center that was established last year will be provided with a web channel to publish all the researches and studies related to the Boy King” – Ministry of Antiquities press release via the Egyptologists’ Electronic Forum.

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NEWS: Three day Tutankhamun conference to start in Egypt Friday

The second international conference on the mysterious King Tutankhamun is to begin Friday morning at the Grand Egyptian Museum overlooking the Giza Plateau (Source: Ahram Online).

“A three-day conference will host on Friday a large number of local and international Egyptologists and scholars from all over the globe to discuss King Tutankhamun and his treasured funerary collection, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany told Ahram Online on Thursday.

Tarek Tawfik, the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) general supervisor, said that the GEM’s visitors’ centre will host the conference for the first two days, while the third day will be held at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in Fustat on 8 May.

Tawfik said that a number of scientific lectures will be delivered about King Tutankhamun’s costumes and jewellery, and a review and discussion will take place on the latest results of the recent radar scan survey carried out on his tomb in Luxor” – via Ahram Online.

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NEWS: What’s REALLY inside a pyramid: First 3D images created using cosmic particles show hidden tunnels inside mysterious structure

Last week, archaeologists revealed the first results of their work involving the Bent pyramid, 25 miles south of Cairo. The 3D images show the internal chambers of the 4,600-year-old structure, as well as clearly revealing the shape of its second chamber (Source: Daily Mail).

“The pyramids of Egypt have held their secrets for more than 4,500 years. 

Now, Egyptian and foreign experts have begun unraveling their mysteries with the help of space particles. The team are using ‘cosmic rays’ to create maps that show the internal structures of these ancient wonders – and they say they could hold some surprises. 

Last week, archaeologists revealed the first results of their work involving the Bent pyramid, 25 miles south of Cairo. The 3D images show the internal chambers of the 4,600-year-old structure, as well as clearly revealing the shape of its second chamber. 

Located at the royal necropolis of Dahshur, the Bent pyramid was one of the earliest to be built under the Old Kingdom Pharaoh Sneferu. It has two entrances, which opens onto two corridors leading to two burial chambers arranged one above the other. Some had suggested pharaoh Sneferu was buried inside the pyramid in an hidden chamber, but the latest scans have ruled out that possibility. 

The Scan Pyramids project, which announced in November thermal anomalies in the 4,500 year-old Khufu Pyramid in Giza, is coupling thermal technology with muons analysis to try to unlock secrets to the construction of several other ancient Egyptian pyramids” – via The Daily Mail.

Read more and view a video here.

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NEWS: No more surveys on Tutankhamun’s tomb until project discussed 8 May

The gold mask of Tutankhamun (Source: Ahram Online).


“Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany did not stop a radar survey on King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber, as rumoured, but rather postponed all works inside the tomb until a scientific discussion is held 8 May.

Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany did not stop radar surveys on King Tutankhamun’s tomb upon the request of former minister Mamdouh Eldamaty or Egyptologist Nicolas Reeves.

Rather, he has postponed any survey until a scientific discussion takes place among scholars during the second round of the international seminar on Tutankhamun scheduled 8 May.
El-Enany told Ahram Online that news articles reporting the contrary are unfounded.

“All scientific works have been postponed since the second and last radar survey [conducted at the end of March], in order to discuss the whole project and Reeves’ theory among scholars during the upcoming seminar at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM),” he added.
The results of previous radar surveys, carried out by Japanese radar expert Hirokatsu Watanabe and an American survey carried out by Eric Berkenpes, would be discussed as well as Reeves’ claimis that Tutankhamun’s burial chamber conceals Queen Nefertiti’s resting place.
Reeves proposed his theory last August after close examination of high-resolution 3D laser scan photographs taken by the Spanish Factum Arte Organisation in creating a replica of Tutankhamun’s tomb, now erected in the area adjacent to the resthouse of its discoverer on Luxor’s west bank.
The first radar survey carried out on November by Watanabe revealed anomalies and empty space behind the west and north walls of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber.
The survey carried out in March by the American expert from the Geophysical Search Survey Inc produced data and indications, but the results were not announced because time for more study was needed to reach a definitive conclusion” – via Ahram Online.

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NEWS: Barque station of Queen Hatshepsut discovered on Elephantine island

Pillar from the barque station (Source: German Archaeological Institute).

“Archaeologists have announced the discovery of an ancient building believed to be a barque station from the time of Queen Hatshepsut.

The station, comprising of a number of stone blocks was unearthed by the German Archaeological Institute during excavations on Elephantine Island.

Ancient Egyptian barques were a type of boat used from Egypt’s earliest recorded times and are depicted in many drawings, paintings, and relief’s that document the culture. Transportation to the afterlife was believed to be accomplished by way of barques as well, and the image is used in many of the religious murals and carvings in temples and tombs.
Temples often included barque shrines “Stations” in which the sacred barques rested when a procession was not in progress. In these stations the boats would be watched over and cared for by the priests.

According to Dr Felix Arnold – Field director of the mission, the building served as a way-station for the festival barque of the god Khnum.
The building was later dismantled and about 30 of its blocks have now been found in the foundations of the Khnum temple of Nectanebo II. Previous excavations on the site by the Swiss Institute discovered some of the initial remains, but their function has now only just become clear. 

Female representation of Hatshepsut (highlighted by red lines) that was later replaced by the image of a male king (Source: German Archaeological Institute).

The building originally comprised of a chamber for the barque of the god Khnum, which was surrounded on all four sides by pillars.

On the pillars are representations of several versions of the god Khnum, as well as other gods, such as Imi-peref “He-who-is-in-his-house”, Nebet-menit “Lady-of-the-mooring-post” and Min-Amun of Nubia. 
Several of the blocks contain the inscriptions of Hatshepsut as a woman, suggesting that its construction is most probably during the early years of her reign. Only very few buildings from this early stage of her career have been discovered so far. The only other examples have been found at Karnak” – via Heritage Daily.

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NEWS: Swiss archaeologists discover New Kingdom stela at Elephantine

 

(Source: Luxor Times).

“The Swiss mission working at Elephantine island and directed by Dr. Cornelius von Pilgrim, succeeded in discovering an Old Kingdom statue of Prince “Heqaib” and another statue for unidentified person as well as an offering stele dated to 18th Dynasty, New Kingdom. The sandstone stele measures 40 cm width by 60cm height.

According to Dr. Mahmoud Affifi, the statues were discovered near Khnum temple which might be an indication to that worshipping “Heqaib” wasn’t just in his sanctuary which was build during the Middle Kingdom but it might extended to Khnum temple” – via Luxor Times.

More photos here.

Another press release can be found here.

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NEWS: Tutankhamun tomb has numerous secret chambers, Egyptian official says after Japanese study that could shed light on Nefertiti’s resting place

 

(Source: The Independent).

“Egyptian ministers have previously promised that the chamber would be ‘full of treasures’ and could be ‘the discovery of the 21st century’
There are two previously secret chambers hidden in King Tutankhamun’s tomb, Egyptian officials have said.

Hidden behind the walls of the Egyptian tomb are secret chambers, which could be “full of treasures”, according to previous statements by Egyptian officials. There is a 90 per cent chance that the hidden chambers exist, according to Egypt’s antiquities minister.

The two rooms contain either metal or organic material, according to the scans. They are hidden on the north and eastern walls of the tomb, a minister said.

The previously undiscovered chambers might unlock many of the deepest secrets of the ancient Egyptians. Some theories have suggested, for instance, that parts of the tomb might contain the resting place of Queen Nefertiti, who scholars have argued might have been Tutankhamun’s mother.

If the chambers are hiding the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, then they could be one of the most important finds of the 21st century. They would put to rest long discussions about her ultimate resting place — and arguments that contend that Tutankhamun’s tomb was originally built for his possible mother.
The discovery was made after a Japanese radar study that looked to map out the contents of the tomb. The researchers will conduct a more advancedscan at the end of this month that will be able to check for certain whether the empty spaces are chambers.

If that scan comes back with proof, then the team will discuss how and when they can get into the rooms.
“We can say more than 90 percent that the chambers are there,” said Mamdouh Eldamaty, an egyptologist who is the country’s antiquities minister. “But I never start the next step until I’m 100 percent” – via The Independent.