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Ancient Egypt

Ancient Garland in Tomb

Edited from BBC News, 29 June 2006

Archaeologists in Egypt who were expecting to find a mummy during their excavation of a burial chamber in Luxor instead discovered a garland of flowers.

The 3,000-year-old garland was the first to be discovered. It was found in the last of seven coffins which archaeologists had hoped would contain the mummies of royal queens or even Tutankhamun's mother.

Researchers and media had been invited into the chamber, near Tutankhamun's tomb, to watch the coffin's opening. Nadia Lokma, chief curator of Cairo's Egyptian Museum, said the surprise find was 'even better' than discovering a mummy. The discovery was certainly very rare. There was seemingly nothing like it in any museum, in drawings yes, but Ms Lokma had never seen this before in real life. She found it to be magnificent.

Experts said that ancient Egyptian royals often wore garlands entwined with gold strips around their shoulders both in life and in death. The burial chamber was the first to be discovered in the Valley of the Kings since Tutankhamun's tomb more than eighty years before, and it was found by chance.

It was the sixty-third tomb to be discovered since the valley was first mapped in the eighteenth century, and was unexpectedly found only five metres away from Tutankhamun's tomb (reigned between 1333-1324 BC).

However, the chamber's discovery did disprove the widely-accepted belief that there were no tombs left to find in the Valley of the Kings. The valley, near the city of Luxor in southern Egypt, was used for burials for around five hundred years from 1540 BC onwards.

Map of the Valley of the Kings
A schematic of the Valley of the Kings in southern Egypt, close to the ancient city of Luxor, with the approximate location of the newly-discovered tomb shown top right

 

 

     
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