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|Egyptian Archaeologists Find Evidence of Unfinished Ancient Tomb|
An undated handout picture provided by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities on 30 June 2010 shows a mural with Seti snakes that was discovered in a tunnel in the tomb of Seti I, in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt. According to the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Zahi Hawass, the council's secretary general and the head of the mission of Egyptian archaeologists that is excavating and restoring the tunnel leading from the burial chamber of King Seti I (1294 BC - 1279 BC) into the Theban cliffs, succeeded in completely excavating the 174m long tunnel after several seasons of work that began in November 2007. EPA/EGYPTIAN SUPREME COUNCIL OF ANTIQUITIES.
CAIRO (AP).- Egyptian archaeologists who have completed excavations on an unfinished ancient tunnel believe it was meant to connect a 3,300-year-old pharaoh's tomb with a secret burial site, the antiquities department said Wednesday.
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 pharaoh 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.
Pharaoh 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.
Seti's son Ramses II built grandiose temples and statues of himself all over Egypt.
Hawass speculated that the tunnel and the secret tomb were not finished because of the pharaoh's death, but may have inspired a similar structure in Ramses II's tomb.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
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