Egyptian Tombs Flooded by 'Faulty' Ancient Methods

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A trick used by ancient Egyptians to exploit cracks in Earth to make tomb-digging easier has come back to haunt the Valley of the Kings, new evidence suggests.

While the natural fractures were followed to carve out burial sites, several instances show, rare heavy rainfall events can flood the tombs. Archaeologists are racing to map and photograph the tombs to better preserve their contents and figure out ways to divert the rain.

"We have seen evidence of seven separate flood events in four tombs so far," said Penn State researcher Katarin A. Parizek.

Parizek had noticed that some tombs in the Valley of Kings, in Luxor, Egypt, were aligned with surface fractures that can be between 5 and 40 feet wide and up to a mile long. The fractured rock would have made for easier tomb digging, she figures. Of the 63 tombs in the area, 30 have so far been found to lie on fractures, while two lie diagonal to a trace and one is not on a fracture.

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