Revisiting discovery of largest tomb in Egypt's valley of the kings
LONDON (Xinhua) -- The quirky history of an enormous stone sarcophagus is the centerpiece of an exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the largest tomb in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings.
The tomb of the pharaoh Seti I, who reigned for 13 years from BC 1291-1278, was discovered by Italian archaeologist Giovanni Batista Belzoni in October 1817.
The sarcophagus was the most prized object in the tomb, the largest and most elaborate tomb ever discovered in the valley of the kings, the burial ground of the ancient rulers of Egypt.
The sarcophagus is now in the cellar of the Sir John Soane's Museum in London, where it has remained unmoved since its arrival in 1824, and the star feature in an exhibition which opened on Wednesday.
Belzone's discovery marked a significant moment in the archaeology of ancient Egypt.
According to Belzoni at the time the sarcophagus "merits the most particular attention, not having its equal in the world, and being such as we had no idea could exist."
The sarcophagus was also a record of a remarkable pharaoh.
Seti gave himself the title of Repeater of Birth, a sort of Renaissance man, said Tindworth.
Belzoni brought the sarcophagus and other treasures back to London and tried to sell them to the British Museum in 1821.
Bruce Boucher, director of Sir John Soane's Museum, said: "The exhibition will feature wonderful loans from Mougins Museum of Classical Art, the Daniel Katz Gallery, the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, and the British Museum, as well as objects from our own collection."
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