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Medieval sin-washing well is uncovered

(Historic England)

(Historic England)

In medieval times, pilgrims flocked to England in quest of St. Anne’s Well, which was said to cure ailments and wash away sins. Archaeologists now say they’ve rediscovered that large sandstone well on a private farm near Liverpool using only a 1983 photo and a description, reports the Liverpool Echo.

When archaeologists arrived at the site, there was little evidence of the well at all as “it had become completely filled with earth,” says a rep for Historic England.

Once excavated, however, it was “found to be in reasonable condition,” per an archaeologist. Legend has it that the supposed mother of the Virgin Mary herself descended the medieval well’s three steps and bathed in its 4-foot-deep pool, located near a priory of monks, reportedly giving the water the ability to cure eye and skin diseases, per Seeker and ScienceAlert.

 

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But the well—believed to have healing properties into the 19th century—also features in a more ominous legend suggesting it’s cursed. During a dispute over the well in the 16th century, the prior reportedly cursed the estate manager of a neighboring landowner, whom he believed had a hand in the monastery being seized by the king.

The prior said a “year and a day shall not pass ere St. Anne thy head shall bruise”—then the prior himself collapsed and died, according to an 1877 newspaper recounting of the legend.

The estate manager is said to have disappeared after a night of drinking, only to be found dead in the well with “his head crushed in.” ScienceAlert points out the discovery has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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Long-hidden Winston Churchill essay on aliens surfaces

Winston Churchill is seen with his trademark cigar in this file photo.

Winston Churchill is seen with his trademark cigar in this file photo.  (AP)

A fascinating essay that lay hidden for decades reveals Winston Churchill’s views on alien life.

The never-published essay has been in the archive of the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri since the 1980s, when it was given to the museum by the wife of Churchill’s publisher, who had died. Last year the museum invited Israeli astrophysicist Mario Livio to review the essay, which he discusses in an article published in the science journal Nature.

Livio notes the British wartime leader’s passion for science and technology in the 1939 essay, as well as Churchill’s thoughts on extraterrestrials.

Apparently influenced by events unfolding at the time, Churchill voices his concern about human progress and describes the possibility of aliens. “I, for one, am not so immensely impressed by the success we are making of our civilization here that I am prepared to think we are the only spot in this immense universe which contains living, thinking creatures, or that we are the highest type of mental and physical development which has ever appeared in the vast compass of space and time,” he wrote.

The original version of the 11-page essay is held in Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, U.K. Churchill, however, revisited the essay in the late 1950s and made some minor typographical changes – he also changed the essay’s title from “Are we alone in space?” to “Are we alone in the universe?” This second draft, which is now in the possession of the U.S. National Churchill Museum, was reviewed by Livio.

Timothy Riley, the director and chief curator of the National Churchill Museum, told Fox News that the essay provides an incredible insight into Churchill’s personality. “I think it reveals the incredibly curious mind of Winston Churchill and the breadth and scope of his interests,” he said. “We know that he had a keen interest in science and valued science and thought that science would lead to progress.”

In the journal Nature, Livio explains that, during the 1920s and 1930s, Churchill wrote popular-science essays for newspapers and magazines on topics such as evolution and cells. He also points to the politician’s friendship with the physicist Frederick Lindemann, who later became science adviser to the British government. The prime minister also created a science-friendly environment that spurred progress in areas like molecular genetics and X-ray crystallography, according to Livio.

Copyright issues, however, are currently preventing publication of the essay, something which the National Churchill Museum hopes to eventually resolve.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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Cosplayers and their Cosplay for Your Enjoyment!

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January 21, 2017 · 7:02 pm

23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare

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There are two basic ways to look at banning weapons in war. The first, humanitarian view is that that war should be as “humane” as possible, limiting death only to intended targets, and delivered as quickly and painlessly as possible. With, of course, the possibility of rescue or recovery. Weapons banned in war inflict undue destruction on civilians.

The second view on illegal war weapons could be called the “Lee Perspective,” so named for the Civil War general who said “It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.” Since the Hague and Geneva conventions, we seem to have grown quite fond of war. The Sherman Argument would have it that putting rules on war turns it into a sport, instead of something to be avoided at all costs.

But no matter which side of that you come down on, the modern war does indeed have its rules. These are the nastiest, most horrible instruments of death and suffering that you won’t see on today’s battlefield – including a good number that might surprise you. These are the weapons that are not allowed, even in war.
List Photo: via Wikimedia Commons/Public domainCollection Photo:  uploaded by Richard Rowe

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  1. 1

    Mustard Gas

    Mustard Gas is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: KurtClark/Flickr
    The terror of the trenches in World War I, mustard gas gets its name from its yellow-brown color and its odor, which is apparently similar to horseradish. Because it’s heavier than air, mustard gas proved particularly effective in clearing trenches, and was almost single-handedly responsible for the 1928 Geneva Conventions. When inhaled, the gas causes the lungs to fill with fluid, essentially drowning the victim in their own fluids. If they were hit with a bomb filled with mustard gas or dosed from the air soldiers were told to pee into their handkerchiefs and breath through those until they could escape or the gas dissipated.
  2. 2

    Nerve Gas

    Nerve Gas is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: trader806/via ebay.com
    Nerve gases of all kinds have been systematically outlawed by both the Hague and Geneva from 1899 all the way up to 1993. All nerve agents (like Sarin, VX, Tabun, and Soman) work in the same basic way: By blocking blocking the enzyme that normally destroys a very important neurotransmitter. Basically, nerve agents cause your entire nervous system to malfunction, like an electrical system full of short circuits. Death generally comes as a result of a shutdown of the respiratory system, but not before painful blisters, boils, and internal hemmorrhaging occur. 
  3. 3

    Phosgene Gas

    Phosgene Gas is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: By Halsey, Francis Whiting/via Wikimedia Commons/Public domain
    While mustard gas might have gotten all the press, phosgene was actually responsible for about 85% of all chemical weapons deaths in World War I. Simple and cheap to produce in large quantities, phosgene damages the proteins in the lungs, causing them to break down, meaning the lungs stop exchanging oxygen. It’s a particularly insidious gas, since it’s colorless, almost odorless, and symptoms can take a long time to show up. Japan continued to use phosgene well into WWII on at least 375 separate occasions, generally against the Chinese.
  4. 4

    Tear Gas

    Tear Gas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: RevolutionBahrain/via Youtube.com
    Believe it or not, the tear gas that police routinely shoot into crowds in America is technically outlawed for use in war by the Hague Convention. Even though it’s generally non-lethal, tear gas is still an inhalant chemical weapon that obstructs breathing, that puts it in the same legal class as mustard gas. For more info on the lethality you should check into some of the Russian Special Ops tactics when dealing with terrorists… So: legal to shoot at protesters in Missouri, but not legal to drop on a machine gun nest in Afghanistan. Go figure.
  5. 5

    Pepper Spray

    Pepper Spray is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: Mace/via MidwayUSA
    Same story as tear gas. Technically, pepper spray is an aerosol chemical weapon that disrupts breathing, which is outlawed by the Hague Convention.
  6. 6

    Plastic Landmines

    Plastic Landmines is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: Timo Luege/Flickr
    According to Protocol I of the 1979 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, weapons that use non-metallic fragments not detectable by X-Ray are prohibited in war. The rationale is pretty obvious, since field surgeons can’t remove fragments they can’t locate within an injured body. This doesn’t prohibit the use of plastic and undetectable materials in weapon design, it just means that weapons can’t be designed to use undetectable fragments as a primary damage device.
  7. 7

    Spike Pits

    Spike Pits is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: -JvL-/via Flickr
    These old fashioned death traps are technically prohibited or regulated by Protocol II of the 1979 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. Pits with sharpened bamboo spikes maimed thousands of soldiers in Vietnam and in the Pacific during WWII. Adding insult to injury, the Vietcong and Japanese would routinely roll those spikes in human or animal feces first, causing secondary infections after even the smallest scratch. That, in itself, is a direct violation of the 1907 Hague convention on biological weapons and might even violate the 1675 Strasbourg Agreement. Suffice it to say it violates a lot of conventions, agreements and accords. Still fun to upercut your opponent into in Mortal Kombat though…
  8. 8

    Bio-Weapons

    Bio-Weapons is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: Public Health Image Library (PHIL)/via cdc.gov
    Believe it or not, bio-weapons are some of the oldest terror weapons known to man. They date back to at least the days of the Mongols, who would catapult rotting, infected bodies over castle walls in order to spread disease and sickness. It’s also been suggested that the Black Plague, spread by fleas on the back of rats, and originating from Asia, was the lingering result of a primitive bio-terrorism attack from centuries before.
  9. 9

    Flamethrowers

    Flamethrowers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: Passive Man/Flickr
    According to Protocol III of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, flamethrowers aren’t explicitly forbidden on the battlefield, provided the battlefield is nowhere near civilians. Mostly, this protocol refers to incendiary devices in and around civilian areas. It doesn’t necessarily prohibit the use of flamethrowers in, say, an open tank battle or clearing caves in Afghanistan. But most guerrilla fighters hide behind or within civilian areas. If they’re using human shields or might have captives flamethrowers are a no-go. They are also incredibly easy to improvise. Basically any controlled release of accelerant + fire is a flamethrower by definition.
  10. 10

    Napalm

    Napalm is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: Official USMC photo by LCpl Andrew Pendracki/via Wikimedia Commons/Public domain
    You might love the smell of napalm in the morning, but the same Protocol III (passed after Vietnam) that restricts the use of flamethrowers also limits the use of napalm. It can’t be used anywhere near civilian targets, nor can it be used to burn down forests unless the trees are being used to conceal military combatants or vehicles. So, napalm isn’t banned, exactly, but more often than not, it can’t be used on today’s battlefields.
  11. 11

    Blinding Laser Beams

    Blinding Laser Beams is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: JETLASERS/via DIYTrade
    This might sound like one of those sci-fi things that would never happen, but the technology’s been around for 40 years. “Blinding” laser beams don’t refer to the laser “dazzlers” that police and special ops teams use; those are low-powered beams that aren’t designed to cause permanent blindness. This ban refers to lasers powerful enough to cause permanent blindness, which is amazingly easy to do, as most juvenile delinquents with laser pointers have been warned. The prohibition against deliberately blinding weapons goes way back to some of the first weapons bans passed in the 19th century.
  12. 12

    Microwave Lasers (Limitation)

    Microwave Lasers (Limitation) is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: Elbit Systems/via YouTube.com
    Yes, laser cannons are a real thing, and they’ve been around for quite some time now. Today, the Air Force uses massively powerful laser cannons mounted to aircraft and battleships, which can use them to shoot down incoming missiles from up to 250 miles away. Hypothetically, they could be mounted to tanks and used to incinerate human targets on the ground – but such use of directed energy weapons is currently forbidden, in large part because too low a dose from too great a distance might not kill the target so much as cook their eyes, which would be a violation on the ban against blinding lasers.
  13. 13

    Phasers (Set on Kill)

    Phasers (Set on Kill) is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: Desilu Productions
    There are all kinds of directed energy weapons on the table, from “death ray” lasers to sonic cannons to real life plasma rifles. However, as of right now, directed energy weapons with enough power to kill human targets are forbidden in war. This doesn’t apply to de-powered non-lethal microwave emitters like the Active Denial System currently in use. ADS puts out enough energy to cause an intense sensation of heat on a large crowd, but it’s not enough to cause actual burning. The sensation has been compared to standing a few feet away from a large oven with the door open. It is possible to set the ADS on “kill,” but that is illegal for the time being.
  14. 14

    Non-Self-Destructing Landmines

    Non-Self-Destructing Landmines is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: United Nations Photo/Flickr
    Since the Vietnam war, decades-old unexploded landmines have been a deadly menace in Southeast Asia. Cambodia has one of the highest rates of amputees in the world, as some 40,000 in its population have stepped on land mines planted during the Cambodian Civil War in 1970. In 2013 alone, some 111 people were killed by land mines buried more than 40 years before. For that reason, as of 1980, mines placed outside of fenced and cordoned areas must use some sort of self de-arming device or self-destruct mechanism set to go off after a certain period of time. Standard land mines may still be used, but can only be employed inside of fenced-in areas, away from civilian populations, and must be removed or destroyed when the conflict ends.
  15. 15

    Poisoned Bullets

    Poisoned Bullets is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: National Library of Scotland/Flickr
    The world’s oldest known arms agreement, the Strasbourg Agreement of 1675, explicitly outlawed the use of poisoned bullets. The first guns used in warfare weren’t terribly accurate, so soldiers would often supplement the lack of accuracy by soaking their bullets in some kind of poisonous or infectious substance. It was not unheard of for legions of soldiers to stow their bullet caches inside rotting corpses, though the bottom of a latrine pit worked just as well. When France and the Holy Roman Empire went to war, they initially experienced a massive wave of casualties not from gunshot wounds, but from subsequent infection. More than 250 years would pass before Geneva once again addressed chemical and biological weapons.
  16. 16

    Hollow-Point Bullets

    Hollow-Point Bullets is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: mr.smashy/Flickr
    Hollow-point bullets (aka “expanding ordinance”) were explicitly outlawed for use in international warfare by the Hague Convention of 1899, which was, in fact, only a continuation of the St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868. This declaration forbade the use of exploding or expanding projectiles of less than 400 grams, which drew a clear line between “bullets” and “artillery shells.” The concept behind the ban was to avoid using bullets that “made death inevitable.” Which, some might say, is the whole point of shooting someone in the first place.
  17. 17

    Balloon Bombs

    Balloon Bombs is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: SMU Central University Libraries/Flickr
    Yes, you’re reading that correctly – according to the 1898 Hague Convention, it is against international law to drop bombs from balloons. Originally proposed in 1898, the prohibition against the “the discharge of any kind of projectile or explosive from balloons or by similar means” went into effect at the 1907 Peace Conference as a probationary measure to be resolved during the third conference.

    However, the third Hague peace conference never met, because of a slight case of world war. Japan famously sent scores of balloon bombs to the American Pacific Coast during WWII, with the purpose of causing forest fires. While most landed harmlessly, one did cause casualties – a balloon that landed in a forest near Bly, Oregon, that exploded and killed a Sunday school teacher and five children. The practice of shooting a rifle or dropping a bomb from a balloon is still technically forbidden to this day. 

  18. 18

    Dirty Bombs

    Dirty Bombs is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: Al_HikesAZ/Flickr
    Bombs laced with radioactive material are forbidden under international law, though most countries wouldn’t bother with them anyway. The point of a dirty bomb is to irradiate an area and make it uninhabitable — which means that the “winner” of the war can’t go there either. That aside, the amount of radioactive material necessary to make a dirty bomb effective could just as easily be used to build a full-on nuclear bomb.
  19. 19

    Salted Bombs

    Salted Bombs is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: Belinda (miscdebris)/Flickr
    Salted bombs are very similar in concept to dirty bombs, but are true nuclear weapons created specifically for the purpose of shorter-term area denial. A “salted” nuke contains an isotope of another substance like cobalt, gold, zinc, or sodium. During a nuclear blast, these elements become a huge cloud of fallout. These types of weapons are the same type used in the Soviet “Doomsday Device” from Dr. Strangelove. Small, one kiloton salted nukes could be used tactically and made so that the radioactive fallout decayed in a year or two, thus denying large swaths of land to enemy forces for a time. But radiation is invisible, and these weapons are generally prohibited because of their potential lethality to civilians.
  20. 20

    Locusts, Fleas and Rats

    Locusts, Fleas and Rats is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: Sergey Yeliseev/Flickr
    Don’t laugh too hard – it’s been done, and to sometimes devastating effect. The Black Plague is theorized by some to be the result of a lingering bio-terror attack from Asia. Today, using hordes or plagues of animals carrying disease in war would be completely illegal.
  21. 21

    Bat Bombs

    Bat Bombs is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: Jesse Lenz/via jesselenz.com
    In the second world war, Americans experimented with a secret weapon designed to decimate Japanese cities. At the time, most of Japan’s cities were made of wood and paper. The idea was to release a bomb filled with sleeping bats (captured from caves in New Mexico), wearing collars containing a napalm-like incendiary. Upon release at dawn, the bats would disperse and roost under the eaves of Japanese homes up to 40 miles away. The project, code-named “X-Ray,” was tested in 1944, but the war effectively ended with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    It might sound funny today, but testing showed these unusual weapons to be tremendously effective…some say even more so than the A-Bomb. Today, bat bombs would certainly be prohibited under Protocol III of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

  22. 22

    Unexploded Bombs

    Unexploded Bombs is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: By No machine-readable author provided. Lamiot assumed/via Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-3.0
    Protocol V of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons prohibits the use of “explosive remnants of war,” such as unexploded bombs and artillery shells. This protocol came about in the 1990s, when the newest crop of Middle Eastern jihadis began assembling roadside bombs from unexploded Soviet ordinance from the Afghanistan conflict. IEDs are remain a source of terror in that part of the world.
  23. 23

    Smallpox Blankets

    Smallpox Blankets is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 23 Weapons That Are Banned in Warfare
    Photo: Terry R. Peters/via nativeweb.org
    While America in general has avoided the use of biological and chemical weapons, many historians agree that we did make at least one attempt at genocide through bio-weaponry. America’s “manifest destiny” meant getting rid of the original inhabitants of the continent. Many were killed by bullets and blades, but far more were wiped out as a result of diseases introduced by Europeans. Coming from a center of worldwide trade, Europeans developed at least partial immunity to many diseases, while themselves remaining carriers. Where Europeans went, plague almost always followed, helping to exterminate native populations and assisting in conquest.

    While such bio-terrorism was often unintentional, history has recorded a few instances where it was deliberately used as a weapon of war. Especially after we started to understand the nature of germs and disease. This quote from Commander Jeffrey Amherst (1717 to 1797) pretty much sums it up: “You will do well to try to inoculate the Indians, by means of blankets, as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race.”

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Mummy mystery: Multiple tombs hidden in Egypt’s Valley of Kings

Multiple tombs await discovery in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, say researchers working on the most extensive exploration project in the valley since the 1920s. Their conclusion is based on excavations and ground-penetrating radar.

Multiple tombs await discovery in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, say researchers working on the most extensive exploration project in the valley since the 1920s. Their conclusion is based on excavations and ground-penetrating radar.  (Photo by Przemyslaw Idzkiewicz, CC Attribution Share-Alike 2.5 Generic)

Multiple tombs lay hidden in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, where royalty were buried more than 3,000 years ago, awaiting discovery, say researchers working on the most extensive exploration of the area in nearly a century.

The hidden treasure may include several small tombs, with the possibility of a big-time tomb holding a royal individual, the archaeologists say.

Egyptian archaeologists excavated the valley, where royalty were buried during the New Kingdom (1550 – 1070 B.C.), between 2007 and 2010 and worked with the Glen Dash Foundation for Archaeological Research to conduct ground- penetrating radar studies. [See Photos of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings]

The team has already made a number of discoveries in the valley, including a flood control system that the ancient Egyptians created but, mysteriously, failed to maintain. The system was falling apart by the time of King Tutankhamun, which damaged many tombs but appears to have helped protect the famous boy-king’s treasures from robbers by sealing his tomb.

The team collected a huge amount of data that will take a long time to analyze properly, wrote Afifi Ghonim, who was the field director of the project, in an email to LiveScience. “The corpus was so extensive it will take years, maybe decades, to fully study and report on,” wrote Ghonim, an archaeologist with the Ministry of State for Antiquities in Egypt who is now chief inspector of Giza.

The project is part of “the most extensive exploration in the Valley of the Kings since Howard Carter’s time,” he said, referring to the Egyptologist whose team discovered King Tut’s tomb in 1922.

The search for undiscovered tombs
“The consensus is that there are probably several smaller tombs like the recently found KV 63 and 64 yet to be found. But there is still the possibility of finding a royal tomb,” wrote Ghonim in the email. “The queens of the late Eighteenth Dynasty are missing, as are some pharaohs of the New Kingdom, such as Ramesses VIII.”

That sentiment was echoed by the famous, and at times controversial, Egyptologist Zahi Hawass at a lecture in Toronto this past summer. Hawass was the leader of the Valley of the Kings team.

“The tomb of Thutmose II, not found yet, the tomb of Ramesses VIII is not found yet, all the queens of dynasty 18 [1550 – 1292 B.C.] were buried in the valley and their tombs not found yet,” said Hawass, former minister for antiquities, during the lecture. “This could be another era for archaeology,” he added in an interview.

Ghonim said that it is hard to say how many tombs remain undiscovered but it is “more than just a couple.”

Locating tombs in the Valley of the Kings is difficult to do even with ground-penetrating radar, a non-destructive technique in which scientists bounce high-frequency radio waves off the ground and measure the reflected signals to find buried structures. [10 Modern Tools for Indiana Jones]

Radar instruments and related computing power have vastly improved in the last couple of decades, scientists say. Even so, it “is difficult to avoid false positives in a place like the Valley of the Kings. There (are) many faults and natural features that can look like walls and tombs. Our work did help refine the technology for use here and it does have a place.”

In one instance, radar work carried out by a previous team suggested that tombs dating from the Amarna period (the period within the New Kingdom in which Tutankhamun lived) could be found in a certain area of the main valley. The team excavated the spot but didn’t find any tombs.

When the undiscovered tombs those that do exist are unearthed, they may not hold their original occupants. For instance, KV 64, a small tomb discovered in 2011by a University of Basel team, was found to hold a female singer named Nehmes Bastet who lived around 2,800 years ago. She apparently re-used a tomb that was created for an earlier, unknown, occupant.

Still, Ghonim said they could indeed find a tomb whose original occupants are buried within. “It is not impossible however for one or more to be intact,” he said. And if they do find such pharaohs, they may also find their brains, as work by Hawass and Dr. Sahar Saleem of Cairo Universitysuggests the Egyptians didn’t remove the brains of their dead pharaohs in the mummification process.

An ancient flood control system
While the prospect of new tombs is tantalizing, they are but one of many things the researchers looked for in the valley. Last spring, the researchers gave a taste of what was to come at the Current Research in Egyptology conference at the University of Cambridge.

We “made a number of finds, which we believe will change our understanding of how the ancient Egyptians managed and utilized the site,” Ghonim wrote in the email.

The researchers discovered, for instance, the ancient Egyptians created a flood control system in the valley that, for a time, prevented the tombs from being damaged by water and debris.

They detected a deep channel that would have run through the valley about 32 feet (10 meters) below the modern-day surface. As part of their anti-flood measures the Egyptians would have emptied this channel of debris and built side channels that diverted water into it, allowing water and debris to pass through the valley without causing damage. [Images: Beautiful Sarcophagus of an Egypt Pharaoh]

Strangely enough, the ancient Egyptians “for some reason after building it, they let it fall into disrepair rather quickly. By (the) time Tutankhamun was buried, flooding events had become a problem again,” Ghonim said.

“That was bad for most tombs, but good for Tutankhamun since, at least according to one theory, flooding events effectively sealed the tomb and made it inaccessible to later tomb robbers.”

Today flood control is still a problem in the Valley of the Kings, and scientists are looking at ways to protect the tombs.

“There have been many studies recommending what to do, but the need to keep the valley open and the costs involved remain a problem. There’s also the need to develop a consensus on such an important thing,” Ghonim said.

More discoveries and challenges
Many more finds will be detailed in scientific publications in the future, including the excavation of huts used by the workers who built the tombs and the documentation of graffiti left throughout the valley’s history.

One important challenge that Egyptian antiquities in general face is the need to bring tourists back to Egypt. In June, at a lecture at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, Hawass explained such tourist money not only helps Egypt’s economy but also provides much needed funds for excavation and conservation.

The flow of tourists has been disrupted at times since the 2011 revolution as the political turmoil has kept many foreign visitors away. The lecture by Hawass was given a few weeks before the ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.

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Random Humor for Hump Day

Home with the cold that is going around, might as well have some laughs to share with others…

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Vehicles – If you could only choose one…?

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October 12, 2016 · 5:43 pm
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