The Secrets Of Tutankhamun’s Decaying Tomb

From The Independent:

Given the peace and quiet Tutankhamun enjoyed for three millennia, it has been a rough 87 years for him since he was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. He was immediately relieved of his treasures; his tomb became one of the world’s best-known tourist attractions, and finally, in 2005, his mummified corpse was hoiked out of its final resting-place to be studied by scientists.

The “boy king’s” fame did not just cost him his privacy. His underground tomb, in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, is now suffering from the wear and tear caused by tens of thousands of sweaty visitors who each year make a pilgrimage to the underground chamber where he once lay sheathed in the solid gold death-mask that has become his trademark.

Most day-trippers come to soak up the atmosphere at the spot where Carter famously made a “tiny breach in the top left-hand corner” of a hidden stone doorway, before chiselling his way inside and declaring: “I see wonderful things.” But in common with most mass tourists, these visitors have begun to threaten the very monument they come to admire.

Strange brown spots, apparently mould, have appeared on the walls of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber. Its elaborate murals, which tell the story of his journey into the after-life, are now covered in dust and have begun to peel in places…

[continues in The Independent]

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