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Time to stop the rot.

 
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Hesy Ka Ra
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:24 pm    Post subject: Time to stop the rot. Reply with quote

Good afternoon,

I have been seriously concerned for some time now regarding the perilous state that many of the tombs in the valley of the kings are in. The number of visitors simply cannot continue. The humidity levels brought in are considerably accelerating the growth of fungi, in short some of the most beautiful tomb paintings of human history are in serious danger of simply vanishing.
One answer would of course to simply close them all to tourists however, the effect on the Egyptian economy would be catastrophic so as an answer it would never be entertained.
However, in 1968 UNESCO with a world wide consortium moved the temples of Abu Simbel as we all know. Is it now time to do something similar with the valley of the Kings? I am not suggesting moving it, no, what I am suggesting is to recreate it in another valley. We more than have the capability to recreate then in minute detail (Not as they would have been originally but as they appear now) Using modern materials and techniques. This would halt the decay of the original tombs allowing them to exist far longer for research in the future.
I accept this would take many years to accomplish and a significant worldwide effort however, these are unique and surely worth saving? I also believe this would be an unprecedented opportunity to gain valuable insight into exactly how they were constructed.

It saddens me to think that in years to come visitors will enter and see nothing except bare walls. This cannot be allowed to happen. They survived for thousands of years before we came along surely we have a moral obligation to protect them!


Regards
Hesy Ka Ra.
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irt-akhu
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't they create a replica of KV62?
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irt-akhu
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Time to stop the rot. Reply with quote

Hesy Ka Ra wrote:
It saddens me to think that in years to come visitors will enter and see nothing except bare walls. This cannot be allowed to happen. They survived for thousands of years before we came along surely we have a moral obligation to protect them!


Regards
Hesy Ka Ra.

I still don't understand how someone thought it was OK to remove the bodies from their burial sites along with all their stuff. And, they unwrapped the mummies and put the bodies on display. Probably not what any of the pharaohs thought they were signing up for. Must be an Egyptian thing. What would happen if in England, for example, someone decided to open up the tombs in Westminster and see what artifacts the kings were buried with? This is the one aspect of Egyptology I absolutely do not understand.
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Hesy Ka Ra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

irt-akhu wrote:
Didn't they create a replica of KV62?


Good morning irt-akhtu,

Yes indeed they did, as I remember they situated it just behind Howard Carters house in Luxor. I have personally never seen it however, I have read mixed reviews. I do however, as do other believe it is the wrong place. Then of course there is KV17 Sety 1, this has not been open to visitors for decades. There are also others that have become far too dangerous. In my opinion it is really only a question of time before all of the tombs will be off limits. I have read that there were plans to recreate KV17 whether or not any has or will happen remain to be seen. One option of course would be virtual recreations. Neither are, I admit, perfect solutions but whatever happens it is clear something must be done and soon.

Regards

Hesy Ka Ra.
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Hesy Ka Ra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:10 am    Post subject: Re: Time to stop the rot. Reply with quote

irt-akhu wrote:
Hesy Ka Ra wrote:
It saddens me to think that in years to come visitors will enter and see nothing except bare walls. This cannot be allowed to happen. They survived for thousands of years before we came along surely we have a moral obligation to protect them!


Regards
Hesy Ka Ra.

I still don't understand how someone thought it was OK to remove the bodies from their burial sites along with all their stuff. And, they unwrapped the mummies and put the bodies on display. Probably not what any of the pharaohs thought they were signing up for. Must be an Egyptian thing. What would happen if in England, for example, someone decided to open up the tombs in Westminster and see what artifacts the kings were buried with? This is the one aspect of Egyptology I absolutely do not understand.


There will always be this area of contention I am afraid (I have been called a tomb robber more than once) I actually firmly believe that by not doing so it would leave them open to far worse, as I have said before if We as Egyptologists can find them so can others with far less noble intentions than the Acquisition of knowledge.
Personally I have never been involved in the excavation of an intact tomb indeed the vast majority of Egyptologists have not, most at best will see a few fragments of goods and remains. However, the sheer excitement such as Howard Carter felt must have been incredible. However, that must also have been coupled with an immense sense of responsibility.
I shudder to think what has been lost to science over the millennia due to robbery ancient and more modern. In fact I would go as far as to say that the vast majority of artefacts in private collections of the the 18th and 19th centuries were obtained by less than honest means.
I do feel we can and should do better. Thankfully now it is very rare that a mummy is unwrapped we can glean just as much information, if not more, from scans etc.

Regards
Hesy Ka Ra
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cladking
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of dehumidifiers should solve the problem.

A cave or cut naturally will have a little higher dew point than the outside. If they can't get the humidifiers tended then they can just have a few tombs open at any given time. Running a conduit to the outside will drastically reduce the amount of tending they need.
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Hesy Ka Ra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cladking wrote:
A couple of dehumidifiers should solve the problem.

A cave or cut naturally will have a little higher dew point than the outside. If they can't get the humidifiers tended then they can just have a few tombs open at any given time. Running a conduit to the outside will drastically reduce the amount of tending they need.

Good afternoon cladking,

For the short term yes but that cannot be a long term solution. These art works were never envisaged to be exposed to the air. The tomb of Sety 1 will in all probability never be reopened, and as time goes on more and more will be closed. No I believe we need a more far sighted solution.

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Hesy Ka Ra
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karnsculpture
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've visited a couple of different recreations of Tut's tomb, one in Las Vegas that was supposed to represent it when found - but the orientation was wrong as you walked through a central passage that doesn't exist, and everything was all on one level. It was very enjoyable and the artifacts inside looked like pretty good reproductions. The second was I think part of the o2 exhibition in London around 2007, but used large photographs to give a sense of the dimensions of the tomb. That wasn't as successful, but the exhibition was covering the whole Amarna period rather than just Tut - the highlight being items from the tomb of Yuya and Thuya.

I do think that a couple of recreations of tombs in Egypt could work very well, and that perhaps just a couple of actual tombs be open to the public that are at less risk of damage from humidity. The key thing is for the antiquities service (or whatever body is in charge now) to get the museums finished which will be a major draw and a much more controllable environment.

Another alternative is to limit any tours to specialist academic events with very limited numbers. The people attending those tours would be happy in the main to visit undecorated chambers, tombs of historic but not perhaps artistic interest? Those need not be royal tombs.

It is probably the best time that the authorities have right now to set things in place, as visitor numbers are down due to Covid - get ready for the time when tourism will hopefully boom again once the GEM is open and we are past the worst of this pandemic.

I have yet to visit Egypt for various reasons, and not being able to go into one of the tombs in the valley would not put me off at all. However a really good recreation of a tomb or sections of tombs perhaps in some kind of route, would be amazing. It wouldn't be completely realistic, but an opportunity to show how the tombs were constructed and decorated. End the tour with some of the best examples of burial chambers.
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Ikon
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Time to stop the rot. Reply with quote

Hesy Ka Ra wrote:
irt-akhu wrote:
Hesy Ka Ra wrote:
It saddens me to think that in years to come visitors will enter and see nothing except bare walls. This cannot be allowed to happen. They survived for thousands of years before we came along surely we have a moral obligation to protect them!


Regards
Hesy Ka Ra.

I still don't understand how someone thought it was OK to remove the bodies from their burial sites along with all their stuff. And, they unwrapped the mummies and put the bodies on display. Probably not what any of the pharaohs thought they were signing up for. Must be an Egyptian thing. What would happen if in England, for example, someone decided to open up the tombs in Westminster and see what artifacts the kings were buried with? This is the one aspect of Egyptology I absolutely do not understand.


There will always be this area of contention I am afraid (I have been called a tomb robber more than once) I actually firmly believe that by not doing so it would leave them open to far worse, as I have said before if We as Egyptologists can find them so can others with far less noble intentions than the Acquisition of knowledge.
Personally I have never been involved in the excavation of an intact tomb indeed the vast majority of Egyptologists have not, most at best will see a few fragments of goods and remains. However, the sheer excitement such as Howard Carter felt must have been incredible. However, that must also have been coupled with an immense sense of responsibility.
I shudder to think what has been lost to science over the millennia due to robbery ancient and more modern. In fact I would go as far as to say that the vast majority of artefacts in private collections of the the 18th and 19th centuries were obtained by less than honest means.
I do feel we can and should do better. Thankfully now it is very rare that a mummy is unwrapped we can glean just as much information, if not more, from scans etc.

Regards
Hesy Ka Ra

I think a major difference between the tombs in Egypt being opened and the bodies of the dead being displayed, and this not occuring in the UK is a matter of continuity. The culture of Ancient Egypt came to an end and nobody, not even the Egyptians, saw themselves as being connected to a dead civilization which had, in modern terms, "bizarre" gods. You could say that they were no longer "us", but "them" and so a curiosity of no value, at least until the 19th Century, except for what could be robbed from them.

On the other hand, in the UK we have an unbroken continuity since the advent of the Anglo Saxons. The Normans and the Reformation have not broken the underlying culture, so, despite some bad treatment, Alfred and the pre Norman kings are still "us" and are still in Winchester Cathedral and not a display case in a museum. I know that during the 19th Century pre Tudor kings tombs were opened for the sake of curiosity, Henry IV was very well preserved apparently, but have been sealed in their tombs since. Tudor and post Tudor tombs will never be opened while we still have their descendants and relatives on the throne.

Unfortunately for the AE, they left nobody to protect them, only common decency in a sea of ignorance and avariciousness.
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