Egypt has opened three ancient tombs belonging to royalty. However, the reasons behind the opening of the tombs aren’t archeological, but economical, as the country is hoping the new attractions will increase tourism, bringing in much-needed foreign currency. Nonetheless, the tombs are quite fascinating.
For the first time, Egypt has opened three tombs in the ancient city of Luxor for public access. The most important among the three tombs is that of Huy, Viceroy of Kush under the famed King Tutankhamun. The exquisitely painted tomb depicts Nubians bringing tributes. This affirmed the fact that Egypt was the most prominent and strategically important seat of power. The artwork on the walls seems to depict a scene of a big festival. The detailed painting clearly indicates those bearing the gifts belong to the southern regions from Nubia.
Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty mentioned that the tombs, in the Qurnat Marey area of Luxor, are among the most important ones in the region. These tombs were reserved exclusively for the royalty, their next of kin, and nobles of the New Kingdom period. The period ended over three millennia ago, but it was one of the most advanced and fascinating of civilizations, reported Skift.
Speaking about the tombs, John Darnell of Yale University said, “The tomb also shows Huy receiving the seal of his office, and other unparalleled details regarding the administration of Egypt’s most important foreign holdings. In many ways the tomb of Huy gives us one of the most detailed and colorful glimpses into the interactions of Egyptians and Nubians during the high noon of imperial Egypt.”
One of the other tombs Egypt opened on Thursday has been classified as Tomb TT 277. This tomb is of Amunemonet, a high-ranking and revered priest in the funerary temple of Amenhotep III. However, the other tomb is equally fascinating. Classified as Tomb TT 278, it belongs to Amunemhab, who was the keeper of the cattle belonging to the temple of the god Amun-Re. Livestock was considered a luxury for the relatively parched region of Luxor. Though there were elaborate arrangements within the castle to have flowing water, the rest of the region was on a tight schedule of water conservation. Under such circumstances, owing cattle wasn’t easy, and only the affluent could manage to hold and care for more than a couple.
Egypt may have opened the three tombs recently, but the country does keep several such tombs open at any given time. The country even rotates access to the tombs to ensure they are protected from the humidity and the constant barrage of visitors who wish to get a glimpse of ancient history. However, there are many more tombs in regions like Luxor that are still kept sealed, and most of them have had only a select few visitors since their discovery.
Incidentally, the tombs have been opened to ensure the Egypt’s economy, which significantly relies on tourism, remains healthy. Tourism is considered a key foreign currency earner for Egypt’s economy and has been making a gradual recovery after years of political upheaval in the region ravaged local economy.
Egypt opened three tombs in the ancient city of Luxor to the public for the first time, hoping to spur interest in tourism despite the shadow of last weekend’s airline crash in the Sinai Peninsula, reported Fox News.
Speaking about the incident, which many believe was caused by a bomb, Eldamaty said while descending into the newly opened tombs, “It is very sad what happened, but we have to wait for the result of the investigation. It was not a terror act, it was an accident.”
If the plane crash was indeed the doing of ISIS, then Egypt’s tourism could receive a major setback, as it would undeniably prove that neither its tombs nor its tourists are safe.
[Photo by Khaled Desouki / Getty Images]