Exploration Of Giza Cave-Tomb Steps Up A Gear

Experts in Different Fields Called in to Examine Egypt's Lost Labyrinth

CAIRO. Work at the enigmatic tomb concealing the hidden entrance to Giza's lost cave-world has stepped up a gear as Dr Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, reveals that the mysterious location is being probed by a host of experts.

"We have experts in all fields working with us," he revealed this week. "Archaeologists, geologists, engineers, and architects, to name a few."

Dr Hawass is, however, being tight lipped on exactly why there is so much interest in the tomb, designated "NC2".

"I will be posting information about our excavation at Giza on my web site," he said, "and will be publishing the results of our work in due course."

Work at the cave-tomb began quietly in August last year, and has continued ever since, with two new rock-cut shafts and stairways being uncovered to date. These have been found to lead into a maze of underground chambers and galleries never seen in modern times.

The Egyptian authority's were alerted to the potential significance of Giza's cave-tomb following online news reports that its labyrinthine world had been rediscovered by British explorer Andrew Collins.

Collins followed up clues left in the 200-year memoirs of a British diplomat found in the British Museum by Collins's colleague, Egyptological researcher, Nigel Skinner Simpson.

Collins and his team entered the tomb in March 2008 and found in its darkened interior a small breach that led into a fantastic cave world full of bats, poisonous spiders, and untouched archaeology.

Despite Dr Hawass admitting that experts are now helping in the investigation of Giza's cave-tomb, the world's most famous Egyptologist will not be drawn into debate on the existence of what he calls "Collins' caves".

"Dr Hawass has said that there are no natural caves at the site, simply a pharaonic tomb later reused as catacombs" Collins wrote recently on a prestigious online Egyptological forum, which is following the story. "This is despite a wealth of evidence, including various published photos, that suggest differently."

All this comes in the wake of dozens of new photos of the cave underworld being posted online. British man Richard Gabriel was able to sneak into the cave system and take a sequence of breathtaking pictures that back up Collins's claims.

One posted photo displays rock simulacrum in the form of a snake's head, making sense of local folk stories which claim that the caves are haunted by a giant snake called el-Hanash.

Andrew Collins' account of the exploration of Giza's cave underworld, and the amazing research that led to their rediscovery, is given in his new book Beneath the Pyramids (4th Millennium Press).

For more information, and contact details, go to andrewcollins.com

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Categories: Research

Tags: Andrew Collins, Caves, Collins' caves, Egypt, Giza, Hawass, Pyramids, tombs, Underworld


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