People, Travel

3 Ancient Tombs Open to Public

3 Ancient Tombs  Open to Public3 Ancient Tombs  Open to Public

Egypt opened three tombs in the ancient city of Luxor to the public for the first time on Thursday, hoping to spur interest in tourism despite the shadow of the airline crash in the Sinai Peninsula on October 31.

The crash, which killed all 224 people aboard, is strongly believed to have been caused by a bomb planted on the plane by the extremist group Islamic State.

The most significant tomb was that of Huy, Viceroy of Kush under the famed King Tutankhamun. Inside the tomb, wall paintings depict a great festival with southerners from Nubia paying tribute, confirming Egypt’s domination and the authority of local rulers, Mashable reported.

“The tomb also shows Huy receiving the seal of his office, and other unparalleled details regarding the administration of Egypt’s most important foreign holdings,” said John Darnell of Yale University. “In many ways the tomb of Huy gives us one of the most detailed and colorful glimpses into the interactions of Egyptians and Nubians during the high noon of imperial Egypt.”

Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty said the newly opened tombs, in the Qurnat Marey area of Luxor, are among the most important ones built for nobles of the New Kingdom period, which ended over 3,000 years ago. The opening, planned before the airline disaster, is part of government plans to highlight new archaeological sites to encourage tourism.

The tomb of Horemheb, the last pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt, was also one of those recently opened.

Most of the tombs in Luxor are secured against unauthorized entry, but the ministry keeps several open at any given time, rotating access regularly to give them a rest from humidity and visitors.

The two other tombs opened Thursday are known as Tomb TT 277 of Amunemonet, a priest in the funerary temple of Amenhotep III, and Tomb TT 278 of Amunemhab, who was the keeper of the cattle belonging to the temple of the god Amun Re.

Egypt’s tourism sector was looking to re-launch itself on the world stage at the World Travel Market London last week with a multimillion dollar promotional campaign highlighting the country’s history and all-year sun-worshipping opportunities, primarily in and around Sharm el-Sheikh.

Tourism, a key foreign currency earner for Egypt’s economy, is making a gradual recovery after years of political upheaval, but the future would be grim if it is proven that an Islamic State bomb indeed brought down the Russian passenger plane.