Working for the American university in Cairo in 1988, Kent Weeks embarked on an archeological dig into KV5, the sparsely explored fifth tomb in the Valley of the Kings, burial ground of Egypt's major Pharaohs. In 1995, he discovered the T-shaped burial complex of Ramses II's 50 sons--arguably the most significant discovery since Howard Carter unearthed King Tut's tomb in 1922. Weeks's account of this historic event is filled with a sense of awe and wonder. "[I]n my imagination," he writes, recalling a vision of the statue of Osiris, god of the afterlife, "I could see the ancient funerals that took place three thousand years ago. I could hear ancient priests chanting prayers and shaking tambourines ... I could smell incense and feel priestly robes brush my arm as the funeral procession moved slowly past. For an instant I felt transported back in time: it was 1275 BCE and this was ancient Thebes."
Weeks also points out what his discovery may tell us about the powerful, redhaired pharoah who ruled ancient Egypt for 67 years (1279-1212 BC), including the possibility that he was the pharaoh of Exodus. He elaborates upon his profession's risks, from excavations in narrow, debris-filled and claustraphobic surroundings to working under the gunfire of terrorist attacks. And he reminds us that his discovery by no means brings Egyptology to a conclusion: "Every generation of Egyptologists asks different questions of its data and data are a finite resource. We will leave parts of KV5 undug so that archeologists of the future, armed with new questions and new excavation techniques, can seek new answers to old questions and to others we haven't even dreamed of." --Eugene Holley Jr.
Provides an account of the recent archeological discovery of the burial site of the sons of Ramses II, with a detailed description of the events of the excavation as they unfolded.