Egypt: Expert gives a tour of the 'lost golden city' site
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KV17, located in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, is the tomb of the Pharaoh Seti I from the 19th Dynasty. It was first discovered by Giovanni Battista Belzoni on October 16, 1817, but has been closed since the early Sixties due to significant damage to the structure. However, Egyptologist Joann Fletcher was granted special access during Odyssey’s ‘The Valley Of Kings: The Egyptian Golden Age’.
She said “Having died without an heir, Tutankhamun was succeeded by a line of militaristic rulers – the 19th Dynasty.
“With no direct royal ancestry, the new dynasty needed to reconnect with Egypt’s illustrious past, so it reinstated traditional beliefs in a renaissance led by one of its most influential rulers – Seti I.
“His tomb, in the Valley of the Kings is the largest pharaoh’s tomb ever created here.
“I’ve been given special permission to explore this labyrinth of treasure.”
Heading inside the tomb, Prof Fletcher was blown away by its remarkable contents.
She added: “It’s inviting us down into the underworld and it’s just drawing us into the darkness – it’s a really, really deep tomb.
“It’s 174 metres of corridors and chambers, all chiselled out by hand and covered from floor to ceiling in some truly spectacular scenes.
“What an amazing chamber, absolutely filled with little gold and twinkly stars.
“But the walls of Seti’s tomb carry a clear message, demonstrating the return of Egypt’s traditional deities in full force.”
The experts explain how the pharaoh’s tomb was decorated to show his power and guarantee him a ticket to the so-called afterlife.
She continued: “This is a brilliant chamber, it is repeated images of the pharaoh with the gods.
“Here we see him with Anubis, the elegant black jackal god of embalming and the dead.
“And here he is making offerings to Hathor, the maternal goddess of love, who takes all dead souls into her care.
“Set makes the strongest connection to Egypt’s past in the portrayal of the ultimate deity in the tomb, Osiris, god of the underworld.”
Seti’s tomb is one of the best-decorated tombs in the valley, but it is now almost always shut.
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It contains very well preserved decorations in all but two of its 11 chambers and side rooms.
One of the back chambers is decorated with the Opening of the Mouth ceremony, which stated that the mummy’s eating and drinking organs were properly functioning.
Believing in the need for these functions in the afterlife, this was a very important ritual.
A long tunnel also leads away deep into the mountainside from beneath the location where the sarcophagus stood in the burial chamber.
Some believed this led to a “secret burial chamber,” but recent excavations have proved that theory wrong.
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