It has been nearly a century since the British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the burial place of King Tut in the famed Valley of the Kings in Egypt.
That was the first, and as yet the last, fully intact tomb of an Egyptian Pharaoh to have been found. While archaeologists have kept digging since, they have not discovered any that hasn’t already been ravaged by gravediggers in the ancient times.
Now, it is the turn of the Chinese to try their luck.
Chinese archaeologists are expected to start digging in Egypt for the first time, as authorities of the two nations are in discussion of a cultural cooperation project, Xinhua reported.
Institute of Archaeology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences will collaborate with Egyptian experts to carry out archaeological excavations, cultural relics protection, and safety monitoring and control in key sites in Egypt, Wang Wei, director of the institute told.
The institute will also train Egyptian experts in protecting archaeological discoveries.
“This will be the very first time that two of the four ancient civilizations join hands in archaeology — it could be a milestone in the history of bilateral cultural exchanges,” said Wang.
“Working in Egypt, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, is a dream and an honor for most archaeologists,” he said. “We will likely start with the Egyptian temples.”
Egypt has conducted more than 200 excavation and cultural-relics protection projects with foreign institutions, but none of them with China.
Chinese archaeological teams own the world’s leading three-dimensional remote sensing and three-dimensional imaging technology, as well as advanced indoor testing and analysis techniques, said Wang.
China also has rich excavation and research experience with large-scale historical sites, like big cities and palaces, which could help Egypt.