U of M News
Egyptologist's Talk April 29 Will Discuss Preservation of the Valley of the Kings University News
For release: April 22, 2008

For press information, contact Dr. Patricia Podzorski, 901-678-2649

Valley of the Kings

Edwin Brock, an Egyptologist working with the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities at Karnak and Luxor, will present an illustrated lecture “Protecting the Valley of the Kings” at 7 p.m. April 29 in Mitchell Hall Auditorium on the University of Memphis campus.  A reception will precede the lecture at 6:15 p.m.  The reception and lecture are free and open to the public.

For almost 500 years, the Valley of the Kings served as the royal burial place for the elite of Egypt’s New Kingdom. Centuries after the valley was abandoned as a necropolis, it became a pilgrimage site for Greek and Roman visitors to Egypt. Since the early 19th century, archaeologists have uncovered 63 tombs in the valley, and today it is one of the most visited sites in Egypt. It is also in serious danger of being destroyed. Because the tombs were cut into the floor and lower sides of the valley, flash floods created by occasional rainstorms cascade down these channels and enter any openings in their path, carrying tons of debris with them. The most recent of these floods was in 1994. 

Valley of the Kings, Luxor
Valley of the Kings, Luxor
In 2005 the American Research Center in Egypt completed a prototype of a flood protection project designed to protect the open tombs in the Valley of the Kings from future floods. This prototype project involved excavations to expose the bedrock surrounding the tomb entrances and to remove debris that had filled an ancient drainage channel on the hillside above the tombs. Numerous artifacts left by the tomb builders, as well as fragments of tomb relief and pieces of the burial equipment from the tombs, were discovered during these excavations. The progress and effectiveness of this project, and the discoveries made, will be the subject of this lecture.

Brock’s most recent projects include groundwater control initiatives for the Karnak and Luxor temples. He is a past director of the Canadian Institute in Egypt and staff archaeologist for the Theban Mapping Project. Brock holds graduate degrees from the University of Toronto and the State University of New York at Binghamton.

The lecture is organized and sponsored by the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the U of M, a Tennessee Center of Excellence. For more information, call 901-678-2555.

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