By: Ali Abu Dashish and Norhan Mahmoud
CAIRO, Nov. 23 (SEE)- Beneath the golden sands of Egypt, fascinating treasures and secrets are still concealed. The Ancient Egyptian’s progress in all fields is a mystery that mesmerizes the whole world.
According to the renowned Archaeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass, the tomb of Pharoh Seti I, the second king of the 19th Dynasty, holds the enigma that all Egyptologists crave to find out.
“The grave that extends for about 98 meters with its captivating vivid screens is the largest and one of the most beautiful tombs in the ‘Valley of the Kings,” Hawas added.
Although the cemetery has been recognized since the Roman Empire, the Italian acrobat Belzoni is the one who unrolled its secrets on the 17th of October 1817. He succeeded to discover all the entries until he reached the burial chamber.
Just like the majority of the nineteenth family tombs, the cemetery consists of two axes; the entree is followed by corridors that lead to the chamber of the well then another wide room while the burial chamber is accessed through a ladder and walkways.
The mysterious tomb is embellished with various texts that guide the king in his journey to ascend to ‘Osiris,’ the god of the afterlife, in heaven including; the songs of ‘Ra’ and the eye of Horus in addition to a recount of the fable of destruction of humanity.
“The astronomical scenes that depict planets, horoscopes and stars are an apparent sign of the pioneering pharaonic astronomy resolving the secrets of the sky is what distinguishes the cemetery,” noted Hawass.
One of the most important books found in the cemetery is; ‘Amy Doat’. “The term means what is present in the other world and reviews the journey of the Pharaoh in that world and the difficulties he will face.”
Another book is ‘The Gates’ that has drawings of huge snakes guarding every gate. “The serpents interrogate the king on his journey to the afterlife and after answering all the questions he arrives safely to heaven.”
The fourth chapter of the book portrays the famous scenery of the four human forms; Egyptian, Libyan, Asian and Nubians.
“In the cemetery we also find many drawings in which the king stands before the gods such as ‘Ra,’ ‘Hur,’ ‘Akhiti’ and ‘Atum’ in addition to scenes of demons and devils,” noted Hawass.
Inscriptions inside the burial chamber, where the coffin resides, are the most significant as they show the king offering sacrifices and pledging loyalty to gods including; ‘Hathor’ the goddess of beauty, ‘Isis’ the goddess of love, ‘Osiris’ the god of the afterlife and ‘Ptah’ the god of artists.
“Belzoni stole the coffin and traded it for 2,000 pounds. It is currently located in the Swan Museum in London,” said Hawass. “Amidst my trip to Michael Carlos Museum in Atlanta to bring back the mummy of King Ramses I, the father of King Seti I, I came across various antiquities stolen from the latter’s cemetery. ”
“I succeeded to retrieve these pieces back to Egypt and teamed with some of the most distinguished restorers of Luxor to furbish the collection to its original condition. It was one of the happiest moments in my life.”
As for the secret of the cemetery, the archaeologist pointed out that it is located inside the 100 meters passage dug by Sheikh Ali Abd Al-Rasul in 1960 inside the burial chamber.