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The tomb of Pharaoh Seti I

200 years ago the tomb of Pharaoh Seti I was found in Egypt. Two centuries later, it is still turning up new finds.

The most mysterious feature in the tomb, and one that has perplexed Egyptologists until today, is the long passageway found underneath Seti I’s marble sarcophagus.

Why did the ancient Egyptians dig such a tunnel beneath the Pharaoh’s sarcophagus? Was it to his treasure, or for religious purposes, or as a security precaution? What was the real purpose of the tunnel? And what did it lead to?

Belzoni and his team tried hard to answer these questions, but they concluded that the tunnel ran down to a depth of 100 metres into the bedrock. It was also theorised that the tunnel was an attempt to link the Pharaoh’s burial chamber with the groundwater. This conjecture stemmed from the existence of a natural spring at the Osirion in the Temple of Seti I at Abydos, which provided a pool of water within the structure to symbolise the primaeval waters of creation.

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