History : Dec 2015-Jan 2016
PROTECTING AND LOOTING THE PAST KINGS AMONG THIEVES Tomb raiding was common in times of crisis, and it was believed that some civil servants had taken steps to repair the damage done. Scholars thought that during the Third Intermediate Period (1070- 712 b.c.), the high priests of Amun in Thebes twice rescued royal mummies after their tombs had been looted. It has been suggested that they built a hiding place at Deir el-Bahari, part of the Necropolis of Thebes, on the west bank of the Nile. There they supposedly kept the mummies of 40 pharaohs safe, including those of Ramses II and his father Seti I, which were later discovered. Ancient royal mummies were also found hidden inside the tomb of the 18th-dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep II. The latest theories suggest that during the Third Intermediate Period ruling kings raided the tombs themselves, stealing the grave goods of their forebears. At that time there was a dire shortage of precious materials in Egypt so the new pharaohs recycled their predecessors’ gold and jewels, replacing the names inscribed on them with their own.