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2 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 2 February, 2019 12:27:26 AM
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Tomb savers

Conservationists unveil work on Tutankhamun grave

AFP, LUXOR, Egypt
Conservationists unveil work on Tutankhamun grave

After almost a decade, a team of international experts on Thursday revealed the results of their painstaking work to preserve the tomb of Egypt’s legendary Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Nearly a victim of his own fame, long years of mass tourism had left their mark on the boy king’s burial place near Luxor on the east bank of the Nile River. “A hundred years of visits, after being sealed for 3,000 years... can you imagine the impact on the grave?” said Neville Agnew, head of the project led by the Los Angeles-based Getty Conservation Institute.

“Visitors, humidity, dust...” lamented the scientist during the unveiling ceremony at the tomb, discovered in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter in the Valley of the Kings.

Called to the rescue in 2009, Agnew has led a 25-member team—including archaeologists, architects, engineers and microbiologists—to preserve the tomb and fend off the ravages of time and tourism.

Interrupted during Egypt’s 2011 uprising and the political instability that followed, the project later resumed its work and finished up this month.

The preservation work began with a comprehensive study of the funeral chamber, including its ornate golden-yellow murals, which had been blanketed over the decades by a grey veil of dust.

Lori Wong, a curator specialising in murals, specifically looked into the “material composition of the paintings and how it was applied”.

The goal in doing so was “to understand the current state of the paintings, to determine if they were in danger and to establish a plan to safeguard them for the future”, she told AFP.

Scientists brought heavy duty microscopes into the royal tomb, which they refer to as KV62, to analyse mysterious “brown spots” found on its ancient artwork.

Researchers had worried the spots were a fungus that might spread and damage the murals of Tutankhamun’s life.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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