Thursday, July 08, 2010

Indiana Jones and the big-ass disappointment

What a story. Inside one of the most famous tombs in Egypt, archaeologists discover a hidden tunnel carved into the raw stone of a mountain. The tomb of Seti I had been known for over a century when archaeologists discovered the entrance to the tunnel in the 1960s. After removing over three hundred feet of rubble from the tunnel, the diggers gave up without reaching the end or discovering the purpose of the tunnel. It's now fifty years later and the Egyptians are trying again. They have removed another two hundred seventy feet of rubble only to discover that the tunnel leads to... nothing at all. The tunnel, they report, is different that the rest of the tomb. While the tomb of Seti I is famous for its colorful murals, the tunnel is almost devoid of illustration. On of the only inscriptions reads "move the door jamb up and make the passage wider." It took us a half century to discover that the secret of the tunnel is that it is unfinished.

Egyptian antiquities chief Zahi Hawass in the tunnel. Source: National Geographic

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