Nefertiti’s Tomb: Nothing to Do with Climate Science

empty-padding-narrow-veryAccording to this article the theory that Nefertiti’s tomb may lie hidden behind a wall in the tomb of Tutankhamen may be a false hope, kept alive by the Egyptian authorities for political reasons.

A scientist familiar with the controversy said: “My understanding is that the Egyptians are in a state of denial about this. They are freaking out, and it has become politically toxic. When you’re the in the middle of a situation in which people are being purged because of their position on this, then scientists should back off and let the politics take its course. We have left the realm of science.”

What a sensible thing for scientist to say! And before the official report which throws doubt on the hidden tomb theory has even been published. But how could such a tempting, (and apparently easily refuted) theory get accepted in the first place?

The initial optimism about finding hidden chambers in the tomb was fuelled by a radar scan performed by a veteran Japanese specialist, Hirokatsu Watanabe. Those findings are under scrutiny, particularly as Watanabe has refused to share the raw data upon which he based his conclusions.

He told the National Geographic website at a conference in Cairo that after more than 40 years in the field, he has customised his equipment to such a degree that its data is unreadable to others. “When someone says that they want to check the data, I am so sad,” he said. But he expressed no doubts about his results: “I trust my data completely.”

Oh dear.

6 thoughts on “Nefertiti’s Tomb: Nothing to Do with Climate Science

  1. Well, he may be unwilling to share data, but he has results that are politically and financially very attractive to some. I wonder where he might find alternative employment with such an attitude and such an aptitude should the pyramid scheme fall through? I guess in smoke-filled rooms in Cairo (and I think they may still have them there, lucky things), or maybe in some mountain resort in the Lebanon, folks are meeting to get a new IPCC underway. That could make Mr Watanabe’s career really take off. The Interesting Pyramids Compulsion Committee? But how to factor in attack opportunities on the capitalist societies and customs of Europe and North America? That may be crucial. And fear. Oh, also The Guardian and suchlike must want to big it up.

    Well, wait, here it is: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2014/jul/23/mummy-curse-legend-discovering-tutankhamun-ashmolean-museum .

    The Pharoah’s Curse on you all, you lords and ladies and sundry followers, you colonialists and worse. Gotta be able to make use of that. Hang on in there, Hirokatsu!

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  2. GISS may consider employing him to design and monitor their new generation of digital thermometers such that they are ‘customised to such a degree that the data is unreadable to others’ but, of course, it can be trusted 100%. RSS are said to be very interested too.

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  3. Another myth that is kept alive – though very tongue in cheek by most of the locals – is the Loch Ness Monster. In Drumnadrochit on the North shore are two competing exhibitions.
    Nessieland (.co.uk) gives lots of fun stuff for the children and gives lots of indicators that the truth about the lurking family of dinosuars will one day be revealed. They are very prickly about the other lot two hundred yards up the road, on the fringes of the village.
    The Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition takes the wider perspective. Looks at the wider perspective in terms of geological history and the results of a thorough radar scanning of the whole of Loch Ness a few years ago. The later showed up few fish and a smooth-sided “U-shaped” bottom to the Loch. The food-chain could not support the creatures.
    Whatever you believe, the area is a great place to visit.

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