Saturday, June 03, 2006

In Egypt, a rare and surprising find

by Jessica Sidman Archaeologists in Egypt's Valley of the Kings were skeptical there was any more to find beyond the ancient workers' quarters they had been excavating for years. Then they unexpectedly found a shaft. What lay below — the first tomb uncovered in the valley since King Tutankhamen's was found in 1922 — will come to light Sunday on the Discovery Channel (9 p.m. ET/PT). The archaeologists discovered seven coffins; there are no mummies in the first five they have opened, but there is one big surprise. When they first peered into one of the coffins, they found a layer of six pillows, all of which were almost perfectly preserved in the vacuum-packed tomb after more than 3,000 years. At least one of the pillows contained hieroglyphic markings reading, "life, stability, and power." But as the team carefully removed them, they noticed a much smaller coffin buried inside. As lead archaeologist Otto Schaden picked it up, the light of a torch caught a glimmer of gold. ...

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