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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Archaeologists study 2,000 year old graffiti in Egypt | Daily Mail Online


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4664012/Archaeologists-study-2-000-year-old-graffiti-Egypt.html

TripAdvisor for the ancient world: Archaeologists studying 2,000-year-old graffiti discover reviews from tourists carved into the stone of the tomb of king Ramesses VI

  • Experts have been studying inscriptions left in tombs in the Valley of the Kings
  • The 300 foot (100 metre) long memorial to Ramesses VI was studied in detail 
  • Archaeologists studied over 1,000 inscriptions throughout the tomb 
  • Among the carvings were the phrases 'I visited and I did not like anything except the sarcophagus!', 'I admired!', and 'I can not read the hieroglyphs!'    
Tourists left reviews carved into stone in Egypt that have been compared by experts to an ancient version of Trip Advisor.

The marks have been studied by archaeologists working in the Valley of the Kings, where visitors etched their thoughts into artworks and on walls millennia ago.

Among the carvings were the phrases 'I visited and I did not like anything except the sarcophagus!', 'I admired!', and 'I can not read the hieroglyphs!' 

The findings could reveal more about what travellers to one of the world's oldest attractions thought of the memorials to long-dead rulers.

Researchers from the University of Warsaw have been examining marks carved into stone in Egypt that have been compared by experts to an ancient version of Trip Advisor. Pictured - The entrance to the tomb of Ramesses VI (left)located next to Tutankhamun's tomb (lower right)

ANCIENT GRAFFITI  

Researchers from the University of Warsaw have been examining marks carved into stone in Egypt that have been compared by experts to an ancient version of Trip Advisor.

The inscriptions, some of which were made over 2,000 years ago, reveal what travellers to one of the world's oldest attractions thought of the memorials to long-dead rulers in the Valley of the Kings.

The tomb of Ramesses VI was studied in particular detail, due to the rich variety and high number of the messages it contains.

Archaeologists uncovered over 1,000 inscriptions found throughout a 300 foot (100 metre) long tomb cut deep in the rocks.

Researchers from Institute of Archaeology at the University of Warsaw have been examining the scrawlings in closer detail.

They are viewed by some as vandalism of priceless historical sites, but the Polish team believe that they are scientifically valuable in opening a window into the past.

The tomb of Ramesses VI, who reigned from 1145 to 1137 BC, was chosen due to the rich variety and high number of the messages in contained.

Experts found over 1,000 inscriptions throughout the 300 foot (100 metre) long tomb cut into the rock bed.

Some were found to be the equivalent of 'John Smith was here', with the names of people who visited the tomb written in Greek or, less frequently, in Latin.

But others read like reviews found on popular travel forums and social media sites, according to the team.

Phrases included 'I visited and I did not like anything except the sarcophagus!', 'I admired!', and 'I can not read the hieroglyphs!'

In a written statement Professor Adam Lukaszewicz, an archaeologist from the university who led the research, said:'The Valley of the Kings was a tourist destination already in antiquity. 

'Like today, tourists often signed their names in the places they visited. 

'Among the more than sixty tombs in this area, in at least ten there are inscriptions made by ancient travellers.  

'The greatest number of inscriptions come from the Greek-Roman period, that is, from the time of the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great to the division of the Roman Empire in the fourth century.' 

As we as their names, visitors also often added their place of origin and occupation.

Travellers came to the site over two thousand years ago from Egypt and its neighbouring countries, as well as further afield in Athens and Syria.

The inscriptions, some of which were made over 2,000 years ago, reveal what travellers to one of the world's oldest attractions thought of the memorials to long-dead rulers in the Valley of the Kings (pictured)

The tomb of Ramesses VI (pictured) was studied in particular detail, due to the rich variety and high number of the messages it contains.

Some were physicians and philosophers, including cynics and Platonists. 

Among the visiting dignitaries to the tomb were prefects from the Roman empire who administrated the region, as well as an Armenian prince named Chosroes in the fourth century AD. 

One of the most famous visitors was Amr ibn al-As, the Arab conqueror of Egypt following the collapse of the Roman empire, who marked his presence in 10 inch (25 cm) tall letters in the seventh century AD. 

The first European visitors to the site, which followed the crusades, were offered sharp objects to make their own marks by Arab tour guides, according to memoirs from the time. 

Archaeologists uncovered over 1,000 inscriptions found throughout a 300 foot (100 metre) long tomb cut deep in the rocks (pictured)

The team surmise that there may have been a similar practice for thousands of years.

The researchers also noted that much of the graffiti had been written in a well thought out manner, including one creative inscription at the centre of a solar disc which represented one of the gods. 

Conversations between some of the visitors have also been uncovered.

In one location they read that a person had admired the tomb and read the hieroglyphics.

Another visitor wrote below: 'I can not read this writing!' 

Below this, a third traveller had commented: 'Why do you care that you can not read the hieroglyphs, I do not understand your concern!'.  

THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS 

The Valley of the Kings in upper Egypt is one of the main tourist attractions of the country, next to the Giza pyramid complex.

The majority of the pharaohs of the 18th to 20th dynasties, who ruled from 1550 to 1069 BC, rested in the tombs which were cut into the local rock.

The most famous pharaoh at the site is Tutankhamen, whose tomb was discovered in 1922.

Preserved to this day, in the tomb are original decorations of sacred imagery from, among others, the Book of Gates or the Book of Caverns. 

These are among the most important funeral texts found on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs. 

The Valley of the Kings in upper Egypt (pictured) is one of the main tourist attractions of the country, next to the Giza pyramid complex


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