The royal necropolis of New Kingdom Egypt, known as the Valley of the Kings (KV), is one of the most important—and celebrated—archaeological sites in the world.
The royal necropolis of New Kingdom Egypt, known as the Valley of the Kings (KV), is one of the most important—and celebrated—archaeological sites in the world.Located on the west bank of the Nile river, about three miles west of modern Luxor, the valley is home to more than sixty tombs, all dating to the second millennium BCE.The team spent the first season assembling the fragments of the sides, base and foot end of the sarcophagus.
The project conservator, Lotfi Khaled Hassan, conducted a test cleaning on the right side of the sarcophagus and removed the black resin to reveal an image of a -bird with raised arms.
The season ended with the delivery of the mask replica produced by the British Museum, which arrived in Luxor after an eight-hour journey from the Cairo airport strapped atop a Peugeot station wagon.
In preparation for assembly, all fragments were cleaned manually with brushes and scalpels to remove dirt and dust build-up.
The fragments were affixed with a combination of epoxy adhesives and arranged on four-inch-thick (10 millimeters) stainless steel dowels inserted through the centers.
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The fragments fell into the burial pit above which the sarcophagi once rested.
The condition of the smashed sarcophagus worsened over centuries as European explorers poured into Egypt looking for personal souvenirs and items to sell.
Many areas of the royal valley have been explored for the first time using new technologies, revealing ancient huts, shrines, and stelae.
New studies of the DNA, filiation, cranio-facial reconstructions, and other aspects of the royal mummies have produced important and sometimes controversial results.