Pharaohs' tombs: tourists take their toll

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Much of our knowledge about Ancient Egypt comes from the elite’s tombs, the decoration of which was intended to ensure their smooth passage into the next life.

The tombs were not designed to be visited regularly by thousands of people.

Their burial chambers were meant to be sealed off for eternity, and any offering chapels which remained accessible above ground were to be visited only by surviving relatives and priests.

The extremely arid Egyptian climate, together with the long-term stability of the atmosphere within many tombs, contributed to their survival to the present day.

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