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Atenism and the Afterlife
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Osiris II

Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 1752

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't be discouraged, Claire. Early in this century, when Carter started his excavation work in the Valley of the Kings and before he discovered Tutankhamen, Theodore Davis, who had the concession for the valley before Carter, was quite sure nothing would be found. He stated that Carter and Carnavon would be "quite disappointed--the Valley has been cleared to the bed-rock in all areas. Everything that might be discovered has been discovered."
Boy, did he have egg on his face in 1922!!!
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Joined: 13 Nov 2004
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Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...i hate the way they say that we wont find anything like tutankhamuns tomb again...... I think theres something even better waiting to be found!

I'll bet Theodore Davis always lived to regret his decision to surrender his commission to the Valley of the Kings. He went on record as saying nothing of value remained to be discovered in the royal necropolis of the New Kingdom, and then Howard Carter came along and...well, you know the rest of the story. Then again, Davis never struck me as the brightest of bulbs.

I haven't lately heard any modern Egyptologist state anything similar. They know better than us that complacency and a defeatist's attitude may well make you look the fool. It's a certainty that a great many things remain to be discovered.

Look at the wonderful things Montet found in the royal Tanis burials on the eve of World War II. Granted, what Montet unearthed at Tanis wasn't quite as lavish as Tut's tomb, but it's proof of what may yet lie there under the sands that had been long forgotten. The Valley of the Golden Mummies is another classic example--a massive necropolis entirely forgotten and discovered only in the last decade.

Who knows what's still out there? Consider the 300 years of Ptolemaic rule: not one burial of these Macedonian pharaohs has ever been found. I try to be a realist and accept that we will never find every king's tomb, but there are so many we have yet to account for!

You folks didn't seem surprised by my 40% figure, and in fact you consider it possibly an exaggeration. The opposite is true of most of the people with whom I speak at our museum; the average person is under the impression that just about everything was unearthed long ago, and they are rather surprised when I quote them the 40% figure.

But you have it right. We just have to remind ourselves that the dynastic period alone lasted for over 3000 years, and in that time, in any one year, the population of the state of Kmt was at least one million people (often figured at twice that much during the New Kingdom, the period of Empire). Keeping that in mind, it's hard to imagine all that's left for those archaeologists out there digging right now. They've got their work cut out for them! Very Happy

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