Some dark, mysterious spots found on the art and remains in King Tut’s tomb indicate that the Boy King was buried hastily. The spots, which were evident in 1922 when the tomb was uncovered, are still one of the mysterious aspects of the burial. Microbiologists at the Getty Conservation Institute have yet to match the melanins in the spots to any living organism.
Dark Spots on Art Inside the Tomb
Egyptologists believe that the young Pharaoh died suddenly which lead to a hasty burial. The dark spots seem to indicate that the painted plaster on the walls was not dry when the tomb was sealed, allowing microbes to grow on the moist regions fed with the accompanying incense and food provided for the Boy King to accompany his journey to the afterlife.
Examinations of Egyptian mummies show that they were exposed to heavy air pollution while still alive. The study, conducted on mummies of various ages and across a spectrum of social classes, demonstrates that Egyptians were exposed to heavy air pollution.
Interestingly, the levels of air pollution in ancient Egypt were not much lower than the are in the modern world. Exposure to such particulates would have increased rates of lung disease – infection, pneumonia, cancer, and so forth.
Archaeologists are planning to continue their studies on ancient air pollution and focus especially on the sources. You can read more about this study on MSNBC.
Archaeologists have recently uncovered a statue of Amenhotep III, the father of King Tut. The statue was uncovered as Amenhotep’s funerary monument in Luxor and is remarkable well preserved, especially for its large size.
In addition to the head of Pharoah Amenhotep, several other statues and artifacts have been recovered. You can read about the excavations and sicoveries in this MNSBC Article and at Discovery News.
Recent explorations in the Great Pyramid at Giza have recently discovered new hieroglyphs painted red. The discovery was made by robots, specially designed to reach previously inaccessible regions of the pyramid.
Archaeologists hope that this new discovery will help Egyptologists to further understand the role of the pyramids in Egyptian ritual. You can read more about the discovery in this Discovery News Article.
The recent upheaval in Egypt has brought to light the very serious problems of the looting of antiquities. This week, NewsWeek explores the issue of looting in Egypt and the future of its Antiquities:
Antiquities theft is as old as the pyramids, but never before has it so shocked Egyptians.
This is a long-standing problem, highlighted in the wake of the political upheaval in Egypt with no clear resolution or end in sight. See the article in NewsWeek for more on this topic.
What should be done to protect Egypt’s monuments? Here’s a list on which most Egyptologists agree: Consult with local and international agencies and specialists to develop and implement long-term management plans. Train on-site inspectors and give them greater responsibility. Design better security for sites and museums. Allocate more money for site conservation and documentation. Take a strong stand against commercial and political interests that threaten the monuments.