Moderator: Thoetmosis XII
- Berichten: 69
- Lid geworden op: do 20 aug 2015, 13:30
There isn't really one mystery that we need to solve, there's many! First, I think we need to know what's behind the so-called secret doors in the Great Pyramid. Second, the tomb of Imhotep – that the British scholar Emery searched for his entire life – is still waiting to be discovered. And in a few weeks from now, we'll be starting a project to scan the Valley of the Kings – we know that many tombs are missing, such as the tombs of Amenhotep I, Tuthmosis II, Ramesses VIII, and of all the Dynasty 18 queens who were buried in the Valley of the Kings. Also, the location of the burial of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony is a mystery. And where is Alexander the Great's tomb?
Question 2 – Have you written any new books on your discoveries lately? I would love to read more about them.
My most recent published book is called "Scanning the Pharaohs," which explains for the first time all the results of the recent CT-scans and the DNA analysis. Also, although I've written more than eleven books on Tutankhamun, the best of them is my recent book, "Discovering Tutankhamun, from Howard Carter to DNA." If you go to my website, you can find information on all my new books.
Question 3 – KV5: We haven't heard about any of the discoveries from the discovery of the tomb of Ramesses sons in 1995. What steps have been taken to prevent the flood debris and what discoveries have been unearthed since the 1995 find?
KV5 was found, I think, more than three times, and was then rediscovered by Kent Weeks, who excavated the tomb and found that it contained many rooms and bones. He says that the sons of Ramesses II were buried there, but I think this cannot be true for many reasons. First, if you look at the chapels, all the rooms that he found are very small, and so a sarcophagus couldn't fit inside. Second, it has a large statue of Osiris, which could prove that the tomb was a cenotaph – a symbolic tomb. And third, in my opinion, all the bones that I've seen in the tomb date to the Late Period, when many of the tombs were used again. Also, we know that sons of Ramesses II were buried at Saqqara and other places. I think this is a symbolic burial, made by Ramesses II to connect his sons symbolically with his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Kent Weeks didn't work there last year, but I think there's nothing more to be discovered, because all the chapels and artefacts have been found.
Question 4 – Who is your favourite pharaoh and why?
I always say Khufu, because much of my work has been connected with the Great Pyramid – I wrote my doctoral dissertation on Giza, and I found the tombs of the pyramid builders. The time of Khufu always fascinates me. Recently, papyri were discovered at Wadi al-Jarf that many people don't know about. They tell us that under Khufu there was an overseer of workmen called Merer, who went with a group of workmen to Tura and the Red Sea, maybe to bring copper (we know that the builders of the pyramid were divided into gangs, and each gang had a name and an overseer). And the amazing thing is that during the restoration of the second boat pit at Giza, they found copper tools – maybe these are made from the copper that Merer brought from Sinai 4,500 years ago.
Question 5 – Is work still continuing with CT-scanning and DNA testing Egyptian mummies? If so, what new things are you learning?
We are going to start the Egyptian Mummy Project soon, we're just looking for funds. We want to scan the mummies of Dynasty 19 – we need to scan Ramesses I, at least to be sure that the mummy we brought from the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta is really him; and we need to scan Ramesses II and Merenptah. We also need to re-scan the mummy of 18th Dynasty king Tuthmosis I, because I really believe this is not the mummy of Tuthmosis I at all. We will also scan the two mummies found in KV 21 to be sure that one of them is Ankhesenamun (wife of Tutankhamun), and to compare this mummy with the two foetuses found inside Tutankhamun's tomb; we also want to investigate whether the mummy without a head from KV 21 is the mummy of Nefertiti.
Question 6 – Dr Hawass, what do you think about the discoveries of the Scan Pyramids project? Do you think that "non-invasive research" realized with new technologies is the future of archeology?
I want to explain one thing. The major problem when scientists use new techniques to look for secret rooms in the Great Pyramid is that they say any hollow is a secret room. But before you identify a hollow in the pyramid as a secret room, you have to understand that when they built the pyramid they used large and small stones, leaving empty spaces. Therefore, when the new technique shows a hollow, it could just be an empty space. And this is why I'm now the head of the scientific team that is looking at what the French, Japanese and Egyptian teams are doing. They showed us two anomalies, one behind the northern main entrance of the pyramid and the other in the north-east corner of the pyramid. It's very important to understand that if you find something in the main entrance, there is a descending corridor there, so it could be something meant to support this – we don't know. This is why we've asked them to do more work – to better identify these hollows – to be sure if it's a room, or if it's connected with the construction of the Great Pyramid. When they announced that there was a variation in heat on the east side of the Great Pyramid, I went there the next day and found that it was because a stone there had been restored with cement in 1939.
Question 7 – Since the revolution, what steps have the Ministry of Antiquities and the Egyptian Museum taken to prevent another looting?
You know, if the light is off in any country in the world, people will rob the cities. We had a revolution in 2011 and this was really bad for antiquities. One thousand people entered Cairo Museum on the night of the 28th January, but thank God the museum was saved because these people were looking for two things: for gold, and for something called red mercury – red mercury is a legend, it doesn't exist. Then, after the revolution, people began to attack storage magazines and antiquities sites by building tombs and houses. And there were illegal excavations; if you have a satellite map of Egypt in 2010 and one after 2010, you'll find that there's holes everywhere. But thank God, for the last three years now we've had a stable government and Egypt is completely safe. I want to guarantee everyone that all the antiquities now are in good hands and completely protected.
Question 8 – What would be the best thing we, as fans of Egyptology, can do to re-encourage tourism to return to Egypt?
All over the world in my lectures, I assure everyone that Egypt is safe. I think everyone who loves Egypt should do the same. Recently, a Polish company and an Egyptian company came to ask me if I'd give lectures for American groups visiting Egypt, and they wanted to make publicity everywhere and come to meet me. They even made an ad in Time Magazine. We need tourism to come back because with the money that comes from tourism we can restore the Egyptian monuments. And I always say that the Egyptian monuments do not belong only to Egypt, but to the people all over the world.
Question 9 – Which discovery came as the greatest surprise? Meaning what might have been found, that was least expected?
There are many, like when I found the Valley of the Golden Mummies – I never expected to discover this big valley of mummies covered with gold at Bahariya Oasis. People called this discovery "the Tutankhamun" of the Graeco-Roman period! Also, there was the discovery of the tombs of the pyramid builders. I had a question mark in my doctoral dissertation, because evidence for the workmen who built the pyramids had never been found at any site, and this made the New Age people talk a lot about aliens and all kind of things that aren't true. In my opinion, the discovery of the tombs of the pyramid builders is really amazing because it tells us for the first time about the lives of the workmen who built the pyramids – the food, the bakery, the area for salted fish, the area they lived in and the tombs. Sometimes there are discoveries that we never expect to make, but when we make them, they really contribute enormously to our understanding of the ancient Egyptians.
Question 10 – Do you believe Nefertiti's mummy is in the Cairo Museum, in the hidden chambers in King Tut's tomb, or it is yet to be discovered?
I really don't think that Queen Nefertiti is in KV 62 – the tomb of Tutankhamun – for many reasons: one, I don't think that the priests of Amun would ever let the queen that followed her husband Akhenaten in worshipping the Aten be buried in the Valley of the Kings; two, why would King Tut be buried in a tomb that belonged to his mother? And three: the style of the tomb and the scene of the Imyduat is exactly the same style found in the tomb of Ay; this could prove that this tomb was originally made for Ay, and when Tutankhamun died suddenly, he gave him this tomb. Also, why would someone come into the tomb and block what was behind? – this has never happened. The most important evidence that disproves this theory is that when I took the Japanese radar readings and gave them to an American radar expert, he wrote to me officially saying that this reading doesn't show there is anything. I really believe that Nefertiti was originally buried at Amarna, and just as the skeleton in KV55 – that we found was Akhenaten – was moved, her mummy could have been moved later to somewhere in the Valley of the Kings. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong, but I think that the mummy with a head found in KV 21 could be Nefertiti. Why? Because Egyptians always buried a mother and a daughter, like in KV 35 where the mummy of Queen Tiye was buried beside her daughter, the mother of Tutankhamun. We found some evidence that the headless mummy in KV 21 could be Ankhesenamun. Therefore, maybe the other mummy is Nefertiti.
You mustn't lose it."