The Rape of Tutankhamun

Luxor is ancient Thebes and has a fascinating past. Share your knowledge or ask your questions here.

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The Rape of Tutankhamun

Post by newcastle »

I read John Romer's book "The Rape of Tutankhamun" some years ago but only discovered the 1993 documentary of the same name (and authorship) recently.

It's both fascinating and depressing. It's in 3 parts .

Part I deals with John's description of the great dangers posed to the royal tombs in the Vok by the deprivations of both tourists and archaeologists.

Part II deals with the history of excavation in Thebes and the damage caused to the private tombs by early explorers

Part III features some interesting film of the temples rescued from the waters of Lake Nasser and closes with John's plea for the world to take notice of what it risks losing for ever.

Throughout there is the theme of the monuments crumbling while the world, and egyptologists in particular, stand by. Needless to say, Romer & his book/film caused considerable controversy at the time but were instrumental in directing attention to the problems some of which have, at least, been tackled over the last 25 years - and are still being tackled today.

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Re: The Rape of Tutankhamun

Post by Horus »

Thank you so much for posting this video link :up I had forgotten just how much I used to enjoy watching John Romer on the TV, he must be one of the most interesting people to speak about Egyptology and he is passionate about his subject. I once recall reading about certain discoveries that he had made in and around the VOK, but he said he would not disclose them until the authorities got a grip on preservation.
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Re: The Rape of Tutankhamun

Post by Mad Dilys »

John Romer had me enthralled. Wonderful speaker. :up
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Re: The Rape of Tutankhamun

Post by newcastle »

I had the pleasure or revisiting John Romer's excellent 4-part series "Ancient Lives".

Focused mainly on the lives of the occupants of Deir el Medina, it provides a fascinating in-depth description of the artisans, their families and their work both for royalty & nobles, and their own tombs.

At the end he talks about his theory that there are yet-to-be-found tombs of the kings immediately following the 21st Dynasty...Herihor, Pianki et al....lying in remotes wadis. He would have loved to go looking for them but I suspect age, and bureaucratic obstacles, have frustrated him.

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Re: The Rape of Tutankhamun

Post by Horus »

Thanks for posting these videos Newcastle :up
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Re: The Rape of Tutankhamun

Post by A-Four »

There is a strange but true story behind this book and the subsequent Channei 4 program that may surprise interested followers of this forum.

During the birth of this new era of excavations in Luxor, though mainly in the King's Valley, three central characters came about, John Romer, Kent Weeks and an Egyptian man by the name of Zahi Hawass. All three entering the scene about the same time, and all wanting to put their mark for Egypt's future. Kent Weeks kept himself busy in the general field of Egyptology, the same could be said for Romer during his initial period, however, as more and more tourists begun to arrive, he became more concerned with the preservation of what Egypt had to offer its international tourists, from the, then very serious problems at Luxor Temple and protecting the walls of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. The up and coming authoritarian figure of Hawass, was about to change the ideas of ALL international workers in this field for ever, and no one would step out of line,.........that is even so today.

It was Romer who first persuaded the Egyptian authorities that the walls of the tombs needed protecting, one of the very first to be so, was the small unfinished magnificently beautiful Tomb of the Prince, in the King's Valley. It was to be expected that the mass tourism expected would be rather well read,......not so, most were with rather lazy guides, who could hardly be bothered to show their guests three tombs within a two minute walk from the rest house.

John Romer, never wanted to deny mass tourism, but he knew that protection would be required, instead of trying to persuade a very reluctant new authority in Egypt, Romer went public, first with the publication of the book, which did not impress the Egyptian authorities, but then the Channel 4 program, saw Romer kicked out.

While John Romer was working in The King's Valley he founded The Thebian Foundation, for which I think he is still patron of it even today. This foundation was of course the precursor of Dr Kent Week's highly successful Thebian Mapping Project, and as a result of that came the now famous air balloons of Luxor, for which is of the enjoyment of tourism there even today.

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Re: The Rape of Tutankhamun

Post by Who2 »

Quote: This foundation was of course the precursor of Dr Kent Week's highly successful Thebian Mapping Project, and as a result of that came the now famous air balloons of Luxor, for which is of the enjoyment of tourism there even today.

Fascinating but slightly out of order, I believe it was Hod Hod Soliman who 'first assisted Dr K Weeks in his Mapping Project, rather than the reverse as stated.
But there is a far higher authority on this forum upon that specific subject..... 8)
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Re: The Rape of Tutankhamun

Post by A-Four »

Who2 wrote: Fascinating but slightly out of order, I believe it was Hod Hod Soliman who 'first assisted Dr K Weeks in his Mapping Project, rather than the reverse as stated.
But there is a far higher authority on this forum upon that specific subject..... 8)
Many thanks for your comment my dear Dr, I myself am not too sure which came first ' the apple or the apple-cart' so to speak, though we do have a member who can puts us both straight on this matter, in the form of MD, though she knows very well,.........she ain't mad at all. :wi .

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Re: The Rape of Tutankhamun

Post by newcastle »

I think you were right A-Four


In May 1982, two balloons were chartered from a firm in Napa, California and brought to Egypt by the TMP. The flights proved so successful that the TMP purchased one of these balloons for continued aerial photography in the following season [17815]. The TMP no longer owns its own balloon, but the balloons proved to be such a hit that several companies offering balloon flights over Luxor for tourists have since been established, and the Theban Mapping Project continued to use their services for obtaining more aerial photography in the subsequent decades


http://www.thebanmappingproject.com/abo ... _11.1.html

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Re: The Rape of Tutankhamun

Post by Mad Dilys »

Hod-Hod Soliman did indeed fly the chaps from the Theban Mapping Project - they were chartered for a week or so and the Boss flew in a small balloon in summer heat starting I believe at 10 o'clock in the morning so as to get the best shadows. Mr Weeks was extremely complimentary, and I can't think of another pilot who could have done it. We used to fly quite a lot of Archaeologists at more normal times of the day.

When the first two chartered balloons came through customs the officials didn't know what they were, so decided they were High Altitude Heating Devices. They were featured on Egyptian TV quite a lot.

When they left the owner put High Altitude Heating Devices on the paperwork - but the official said "This is nonsense, this a Hot Air Balloon". 8)
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Re: The Rape of Tutankhamun

Post by Zooropa »

newcastle wrote:I had the pleasure or revisiting John Romer's excellent 4-part series "Ancient Lives".

Focused mainly on the lives of the occupants of Deir el Medina, it provides a fascinating in-depth description of the artisans, their families and their work both for royalty & nobles, and their own tombs.

At the end he talks about his theory that there are yet-to-be-found tombs of the kings immediately following the 21st Dynasty...Herihor, Pianki et al....lying in remotes wadis. He would have loved to go looking for them but I suspect age, and bureaucratic obstacles, have frustrated him.

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You are a bugger Newcastle - Because of these vids im tempted to pull my proposed May visit forward to, like, next Friday!

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