Archaeology: Valley Of The Lost Tombs

A cache of pristine mummies offers a look at Egyptian life and death around the time of Jesus

Zahi Hawass never thought he'd be working anywhere but at the pyramids and thereabouts, where he has worked for more than 20 years and where plenty remains to be discovered. Then, three years ago, the eminent archaeologist, who also serves as Egypt's Undersecretary of State for the Giza Monuments, got wind of a new, unsuspected burial site at the Bahariya Oasis, some 230 miles southwest of Cairo. When he arrived, recalls Hawass, "one of the tomb ceilings had fallen in and the sun shone through it. I went in and looked at the mummies in the rays of the sun. All...

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