Egypt’s antiquities department has announced the excavation of an unfinished tunnel, possibly meant to be a secret tomb, inside a 3,300-year-old pharaoh’s grave.
The 570-foot long tunnel (174 meters) stretches away from the main tomb of New Kingdom Pharaoh Seti I (1314-1304 B.C.) descending two staircases before abruptly ending.
Egyptian chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass said it has taken three years to excavate the 570-foot (174 meter) long tunnel in Pharaoh Seti I‘s ornate tomb in southern Egypt‘s Valley of the Kings. The pharaoah died before the project was finished.
First discovered in 1960, the tunnel has only now been completely cleared and archaeologists discovered ancient figurines, shards of pottery and instructions left by the architect for the workmen.
“Move the door jamb up and make the passage wider,” read an inscription on a decorative false door in the passage. It was written in hieratic, a simplified cursive version of hieroglyphics.
Elsewhere in the tunnel there were preliminary sketches of planned decorations, said Hawass.
Pharoah Seti I (1314-1304 B.C.) was one of the founders of the New Kingdom’s 19th Dynasty known for its military exploits and considered the peak of ancient Egyptian power. His tomb is famous for its colorful wall paintings.
Hawass speculated that the tunnel and secret tomb were not finished because of the pharoah’s death, but may have inspired a similar strucuture in Ramses II‘s tomb.
Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin
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