Wednesday, February 15, 2006

British Archaeologist 'privileged' to be member of team discovering latest tomb in the Valley of the Kings

I was very excited to read about the newest tomb discovered in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Sadly, most of the grave goods had been looted in antiquity but at least the mummies may shed more light on the political turmoil of the 18th dynasty.

"Alistair Dickey, 26, from Broughshane, was part of the University of Memphis-led team which found the tomb and five mummies.

It was the first intact tomb to be found in the Valley of the Kings since Tutankhamun's in 1922.

The newly-found tomb is thought to date from the 18th Pharaonic Dynasty, the first dynasty of the New Kingdom which ruled between 1539BC and 1292BC and made its capital in Thebes, now Luxor.

"We had been excavating workmen's huts - these huts belonged to the workmen that actually painted and decorated the tombs in the valley," Alistair said.

"At the bottom of one of the rooms we came across a man-made cut in the bedrock which turned out to be more than just a man-made cut - it turned out to be a five metre deep shaft with a chamber at the bottom."