Friday, May 13, 2016

Tutterings -- What happened last week?



Last week saw the Second Annual  Tutankhamun conference in Cairo. Many people (okay, maybe just the media) expected a resolution to the controversy of whether there is something behind the walls of his tomb. Well, maybe not a resolution, but at least an exciting announcement. It didn't happen.

Or maybe it did, and we didn't want to hear it. Because the possibility intrigued us. We wanted to believe, because it wasn't that long ago in archaeological time that the theory of "nothing left to find" in Egypt was prevalent and then proven wrong.

It is certain that a big kerfuffle among well-known Egyptologists occurred. It also seems certain the likelihood of finding something in the tomb is diminishing or altogether gone, depending on which news story you read. Still, wouldn't you have liked to have been a fly on the wall during cocktail hour?

For your reading pleasure, a compendium of the stories, beginning with the official release from the Ministry of Antiquities.

The official release from the Ministry of Antiquities Facebook page


Outcomes of the Second International Tutankhamun Conference
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“It is essential to perform more scans using other devices at the 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.

(c) Ministry of Antiquities, Press Office
Wrote: Asmaa Mostafa  Translated by: Eman Hossni  Photos: Khalil Elsayed

Egyptologists differ on Tut tomb 'hidden chambers'

Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said on Sunday new technology is needed to determine whether Tutankhamun's tomb contains hidden chambers which a British archaeologist believes may hide queen Nefertiti's remains. . .

The mood at Sunday's conference was skeptical months after former minister Mamduh Damati said the secret chambers probably existed, raising expectations of another historical find.

Nefertiti Still Missing: King Tut's Tomb Shows No Hidden Chambers

Radar scans conducted by a National Geographic team have found that there are no hidden chambers in Tutankhamun's tomb, disproving a claim that the secret grave of Queen Nefertiti lurks behind the walls.

In Egypt, Debate Rages Over Scans of King Tut's Tomb

Never underestimate the mysterious, unpredictable, and slightly insane power of Egyptology . .  . more than a hundred people watched two former government ministers sit onstage and angrily accuse each other of trying to drill holes into World Heritage Sites without proper permission.

King Tutankhamun: Experts unconvinced of secret chambers inside boy pharaoh's tomb

Archaeologists and researchers expressed their divided opinions about possibility of existence of hidden chambers inside the tomb of ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun during a recently held conference in Cairo. The international meet concluded that no digging inside the tomb shall take place without full evidence about the sealed-off chambers.

Egyptologists differ on King Tut tomb 'hidden chambers'

CAIRO -- Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said on Sunday new technology is needed to determine whether Tutankhamun's tomb contains hidden chambers which a British archaeologist believes may hide Queen Nefertiti's remains. . .The mood at Sunday's conference was skeptical months after former minister Mamduh Damati said the secret chambers probably existed, raising expectations of another historical find.

Egypt in denial as reports leak out that radar survey found no secret Tutankhamun tomb chambers

EGYPT has a problem. Leaked reports reveal there are no hidden chambers inside Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s Valley of the Kings tomb. So how does one break the news to an excited world?
Recent radar scans of the 3300-year-old tomb of the boy king, conducted to verify a similar scan late last year, have reportedly yielded disappointing results.

Egypt 'suppressing truth' over hidden chambers in Tutankhamun’s tomb

The world of archaeology was electrified last year by the news that Tutankhamun’s tomb could contain hidden chambers possibly containing the remains and riches of Queen Nefertiti. It was a story that seemed to have everything: false walls, buried treasure, at least one mummy – and new hope for Egypt’s ailing tourist industry.

There was just one problem: the announcement now seems to be unfounded. But scientists say the evidence, based on new research, is being suppressed by the government in Cairo.