November 30, 2022

In the pharaoh’s tomb, an archaeologist examines the entries. ancient tourists

The tomb of Ramses VI in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings was already visited in ancient times by tourists who signed their names and exchanged comments, reminiscent of discussions on Facebook or tourist forums. The walls of the tomb "spoke" thanks to the research of Prof. By Adam Lukaszewicz of the UW.

"I visited and didn’t like anything opr cz sarcophagus!"; "Admired!"; "I can not read the hieroglyphics !" – are just some of the re of the inscriptions , which were read by Polish scientists working inside the tomb of Egyptian pharaoh Ramses VI in the Valley of Kr l .

All of them were made by tourists, who ers visited the site about two thousands of years ago!

Valley of Kr l in G rnym Egypt is one of the main of the country’s top tourist attractions, along with the pyramids at Giza. In the tombs hollowed out in the rocks rested most of the Pharaohs of the 18th-20th dynasties, i.e., rulers from ca. 1550 to 1069. p.n.e. The most famous pharaoh buried here is Tutankhamun, who rego’s tomb was discovered in 1922.

– Valley of Kr l was already a destination in ancient times. Just as today, tourists often signed at the sites they visited. Among d more than sixty tombs in this area, at least ten have inscriptions made as early as the ancient podr ¿nik ,” an archaeologist and papyrologist from the Institute of Archaeology of the UW, Prof. Adam Lukaszewicz.

The goal of the mission led by the scientist is the tomb of Ramses VI – a place that re on the scale of the entire Kr l is exceptionally rich in traces of the presence of ancient visitors. In an oblong tomb more than a hundred meters deep carved into the rocks, a Polish scientist counted more than a thousand inscriptions .

– The largest number of inscriptions in dates back to the Greco-Roman period, that is, from the time of the in the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great to the division of the Roman Empire under k. 4th century. – m i prof. Lukaszewicz.

Mostly ancient counterparts of the entry in style "here I was – Jan Kowalski", That is, written in Greek – or more rarely, in Latin – the names of the os b, which re visited the tomb. They can be spotted in ticular parts of the tomb, sometimes even in very high parts of the several-meter-high walls. – However, this does not mean that ancient tourists were provided with ladders. For a long time the corridors of the tomb were partially covered with sand, after which the rym stepped. The first people, wanting to enter the tomb, probably had to even crawl there, which is why the inscriptions are located right next to the ceiling, – adds Prof.

To this day, the tomb perfectly preserved the original decorations in the form of sacred images, coming from From the Book of Gates or the Book of Caves. These are some of the more important text In the funerary, kt re we find on the walls of tombs in the ancient Egyptian.

– Visitors gr (b they tried to put their signatures without destroying earlier decorations. Sometimes they did so in a manner b very thoughtful – e.g. inscribed their names in the center of the solar disk, kt ry symbolized one of the gods – m i archaeologist.

Opr cz his name ancient tourists often added also the place of origin or occupation d, who ho toiled. Occasionally there are longer texts, including poetic. Thanks to this, it is known that more than 2 thousand. years ago, the tomb was visited by zar Both the inhabitants of Egypt, as also the country in the neighboring. They were among the d them doctors or philosophers t h e t e m s ł – cynic and platonic .

– This group also includes people very high in the social hierarchy – including the prefects of Egypt, that is, people who re in Roman times ruled this country on behalf of the emperor. There are also governors of different parts of the country,” enumerates Prof. Lukashevich.

Among d more famous foreigners , which ho marked their visit to the tomb, was the Armenian prince Khosroes (4th w.).

Scholars was also interested in the signature of Amros. – In this way b in Greek recorded their presence in the tomb in the 7th century. Arab conqueror of Egypt himself – Amr Ibn al-As. This is one of the largest inscriptions made by visitors to the tomb of Ramses VI. The letters have approx. 25 cm high,” adds Prof. Lukaszewicz. But the gr b were also visited by lesser-known people from Athens or Syria.

On the walls there were almost literally discussions. Scientists have recorded even "Dialogue" between visitors. In one place they read that the newcomer admired the gr b and read hieroglyphic inscriptions. Underneath, another wrote in turn: "I can’t read the writing!". Below this inscription a third person added: "What are you worried about not being able to read the hieroglyphs ; I don’t understand your concern!".

Most of the discovered inscriptions in scratched out, a much smaller number were made with red paint. The first European podr The govt. in its memoirs wrote that Arab guides offered visitors sharp objects, which tourists could sign them. – It may have been the same two thousand years earlier, a scientist believes.

The tomb of Ramses VI for ancient visitors was not just a place of historical curiosity. Visiting the site was treated more as a spiritual experience. This is because early believers thought that the tomb belonged to the legendary hero Memnon, a participant in the Trojan War, points out Prof. Lukashevich.

How they came up with it? Nearby, on the in the Theban tomb, there are two colossal statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, still known today as the Colossi of Memnon. The misleading name was given to them by the Greeks, who rmzes in the morning heard mysterious sounds made by one of the. (Today it is believed that they were formed as a result of the heating of the cracked monolith forming the statue). Greeks associated this fact with the kr lem Memnon, killed during the Trojan War. The mysterious sound was supposed to be Memnon’s greeting to his mother, the goddess Eos.

One of the names of the official titular kr The la of Amenhotep III written on the statue coincided with one of the many names of Ramses VI. That is why it was considered that the tomb in the Valley of Kr l belonged to the same person. Real "owner" The tomb was not identified by scientists until the 19th century, when they were able to decipher the hieroglyphics, the scientist recalls.

Ramses VI rested in the tomb together with his nephew, Ramses V in 1136. p.n.e. Thus, in one tomb there were side by side two ch ruler. However, in their post-mortem lives, they did not experience peace: not many years after their burial, the tomb was looted and the mummies violated. Precautionary priests moved the mortal remains of the ruler’s in to a cache located nearby, thanks to which they have survived to our time .

Warsaw scientists, working in the Valley of Kr l under the aegis of the Center for World Archaeology dean of the UW (until recently thanks to the support of the Foundation for Polish Science), have just completed work on a complete tr jdimensional digital documentation of all the walls of the tomb. In November and December of this year wr c to the Valley of the Kr l to carefully analyze all the inscriptions of ancient tourists.

Source source: PAP – Science in Poland, Szymon Zdziebłowski, fot. CC BY-SA 3.0/ Alberto-g-rovi/Wikimedia Commons