Archaeologists rediscover lost Egyptian tomb

Sun Mar 1, 2009 9:36am EST
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CAIRO (Reuters) - Belgian archaeologists have rediscovered an ancient Egyptian tomb that had been lost for decades under sand, Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni said on Sunday.

In 1880 Swedish Egyptologist Karl Piehl uncovered the tomb of Amenhotep, the deputy seal-bearer of the Pharaoh King Tuthmosis III, in the city of Luxor, about 600 km (375 miles) to the south of the capital Cairo.

"It later disappeared under the sand and archaeologists kept looking for it to no avail until it was found by the Belgian expedition," a statement from the Supreme Council of Antiquities quoted Hosni as saying.

Tuthmosis III of the 18th Dynasty ruled Egypt between 1504-1452 BC. Egypt's chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass said the tomb consists of an enclosure and a large hall divided into two parts by six columns. Part of the northern side of the hall had been destroyed a long time ago, he added.

Laurent Bavay, the head of the Belgian team, said most of the inscriptions on the walls of the tomb were damaged, a sign that the place had probably been robbed in the early 19th century, the statement quoted him as saying.

(Writing by Alaa Shahine; Editing by Matthew Jones)