LUXOR, Egypt – The tomb of Tutankhamun, one of the most visited tombs in the Valley of the Kings, located in Luxor, southern Egyptian, sparkled once again thanks to a decade-long restoration project that was revealed to the press Thursday.
Though relatively unimportant in his time, Tutankhamun gained fame as an Egyptian Pharaoh following his discovery by British Egyptologist Howard Carter in 1922.
“In my opinion, they have done the most impressive conservation work ever,” Egyptologist Zahi Hawas, told EFE. “And they saved Tutankhamen. They saved the tomb,” he added.
The project, carried out by the United States’ Getty Conservation Institute and Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, focused on improving the environmental conditions of the tomb in order to protect it from the effects of tourism and brown fungi spots on the vault’s paintings.
Experts had feared that the fungi had appeared in the burial chamber after years of condensation that built-up from the breath of tourists.
However, after investigations by specialists, it turns out that the brown spots originated on the tomb walls thousands of years ago when Tutankhamun was buried.
Tutankhamun began his rule of ancient Egypt in around 1333 B.C.E. until roughly 1323 B.C.E. when historians posit that the ruler died unexpectedly at the age of 19.
“We think that the brown spots arouse because the tomb was sealed with a lot of humidity,” stated Archeologist Neville Agnew, one of the GCI’s specialists.
Agnew said the specialists in charge of restoring the tomb did not want to remove the patches of fungi as the brown growth had become a part of the paint itself.
The restoration project included setting up new ventilation and air filtration systems to tackle humidity, as well as an LED lighting system.
In a bid to preserve the crypt, GCI is to propose that a maximum of 25 people enter the tomb per tour, a much lower number than that permitted under current regulations.
According to Agnew, limiting the number of people in the tomb will help optimize the ventilation and filtration of air.
In 2014, Tutankhamun’s remains were scanned and researchers noted that the young monarch had a club foot which might have been the result of familial inbreeding as Tutankhamun’s parents were likely siblings.