One of the world's most famous tourist attractions is a victim of its own success - the tombs of the Pharoahs in Egypt's Valley of the Kings could all but disappear within the next 150 to 500 years if they continue to attract visitors at the current rate...
[UKPRwire, Tue Aug 25 2009] One of the world's most famous tourist attractions is a victim of its own success - the tombs of the Pharoahs in Egypt's Valley of the Kings could all but disappear within the next 150 to 500 years if they continue to attract visitors at the current rate...
As the royal tombs are open to visitors, humidity and fungus has been eating into the walls, whilst poor ventilation and the breath of all the tourists is causing severe damage to the elaborate carvings and painted decorations inside the tombs.
The tombs, which attract thousands of tourists from all over the world each day, lie in the Royal Necropolis on the west bank of the Nile across from Luxor.
The Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens was where Ancient Egypt's royalty was mummified. It includes some of the most famous tombs, which include:
The Tomb of Tutankhamen, which was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter. Very little was known about Tutankhamen until his tomb was discovered. It is one of the most intact tombs to have been excavated.
The Tomb of Nefertiti: Nefertiti is believed to have been the most beautiful of all Egyptian queens. She was the favorite queen of King Ramses II. Much about the life and characteristics of Nefertiti can be deciphered by the inscriptions on the walls of her tomb.
The Tomb of Khufu: The Great Pyramid at Giza, the biggest of all the Egyptian pyramids houses the body of Pharaoh Khufu. It is built with more than two million stones. It weighs approximately 2.5 tons and is almost 480 feet tall.
Egyptians worshipped their Pharaohs as gods. So when a pharaoh died his tomb was richly decorated and laden with precious belongings of the Pharaoh.
Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities has already taken action to halt the deterioration of the tombs, closing the most historically valuable ones to visitors and replacing them with replicas. Amongst those that have been closed include the tombs of Tutenkhamun, Nefertiti and Seti I.
New ventilation systems have also been created and the number of visitors tramping through has been cut.
Egypt's Head of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, said, "The tombs which are open to visitors are facing severe damage to both colours and the engravings."
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