AN ANCIENT Egyptian tomb accidentally discovered during a police raid on an illegal excavation site will be relocated to a museum despite this decision sparking a wave of controversy.
Archaeologists are concerned that the well-preserved burial chamber will be damaged in the move and some people think that the ‘curse of the pharaohs’, supposedly unleashed on anyone who disturbs an Ancient Egyptian mummy, will be triggered.
The Ptolemaic burial chamber belongs to a nobleman called Tutu and his wife who was said to be a musician for the Ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor.
The Ministry of Antiquities has decided to relocate the tomb from the Al-Dayabat archaeological site in Sohag to Egypt’s New Administrative Capital’s museum.
A recent statement from the ministry has already started to cut the walls of the tomb to pieces so it will be in suitably sized transportable chunks.
Dissembling and relocating the tomb is being justified by the ministry as a necessary act to save the chamber from being “in an extremely remote location, where it is [currently] isolated [and] can be subjected to ravage, or robbery.”
However, archaeologists aren’t happy about the move because they think the ministry should be working to preserve antiquities and not taking them from where they were found.
Egyptian archaeologist Monica Hanna told Daily News Egypt: “Relocation of this tomb is a clear violation to the Venice Charter for the restoration of historical places; and what the ministry is doing is all about destroying this antiquity, instead of saving it.”
Egypt usually follows the Venice Charter’s article seven which states: “A monument is inseparable from the history to which it bears witness and from the setting in which it occurs.
“The moving of all or part of a monument cannot be allowed except where the safeguarding of that monument demands it or where it is justified by the national or international interest of paramount importance.”
The ministry seems to think that more people will be able to visit the tomb if it is moved.
Moustafa Waziri, the Secretary-General of Supreme Council of Antiquities, said: “In the New Administrative Capital’s Museum, all of the important figures, and tourists from all around the world will have the chance to see the tomb, which will allow thousands if not millions of people to enjoy it.”
The tomb is also said to contain a mummy which hasn’t been identified yet along with intricately painted walls depicting a funeral procession, people working in fields and Tutu’s family genealogy written in hieroglyphics.
The burial chamber has two small rooms which contain two limestone sarcophagi and around 50 mummified animals, including mice and falcons.
The curse of the pharaohs is an alleged curse that some people believe will affect anyone who disturbs mummified remains of an Ancient Egyptian person.
This supposed curse is not said to differentiate between archaeologists and thieves and is said to cause bad luck, illness or even death.
It is often connected to King Tutankhamun and the people who died after opening his tomb.
In other archaeology news, Tutankhamun’s ‘cursed’ golden sarcophagus pictured outside tomb for first time ever – as experts race to save ‘cracking coffin’.
Archaeologists reveal the earliest known infant cemetery in the world.
And, a Viking ‘party hall’ where Norse chieftains may have chugged ale has been found buried under a British farm.
Do you believe in the curse of the pharaohs? Let us know in the comments…