"You have got to be kidding me!”
(Or, well, okay, something like that- only in Arabic and perhaps more graphic.)
In case you haven’t heard, there are big things happening right now in King Tut’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings. A British Egyptologist, Dr. Nicholas Reeves, has proposed a theory that hidden behind the walls in the young pharaoh’s tomb are two additional chambers which he believes may house the remains of Queen Nefertiti. This last week he and a group from the ministry of antiquities in Egypt went to the tomb to explore his theory. Without advanced radar testing (which will happen within the next few months) it is impossible to know for sure that the chambers exist… but after examining the walls and ceiling there are new reasons to be hopeful.
Knowing I can’t do the details justice, here is a great recent article about what is happening there: CNN
The reason I am so inspired by all of this, though, is that this Egyptologist is a friend and mentor to my daughter and has been a huge supporter of her interest in Ancient Egypt since she was just seven years old!
Five years ago, when we first heard Dr. Reeves speak on this topic, it was due to my daughter begging us to attend his lecture at Portland State University. Dr. Reeves had written one of her favorite books on Ancient Egypt (it is a great kids’ intro to Ancient Egypt: Into the Mummy's Tomb) and she was thrilled at the possibility of meeting him.
It was through this very first lecture that we became familiar with ARCE, the group sponsoring his talk. Since then first our daughter, and then my husband and I, have become members. I was reminded that the world is an intriguing place filled with people who spend their whole lives studying little portions of it.
But with that study comes debate. Not everyone has agreed with Dr. Reeves theories about Nefertiti and King Tut. And yet somehow in the face of, at best dismissal, and at worst disapproval, he has maintained his quest for the truth of his theory. He has not claimed to know for sure, but he has pursued his ideas with passion and courage and purpose. And the result: this last week the news of the chambers rocked the Egyptological world. Many are still skeptical. But even if the chambers hold no evidence of Nefertiti, just the discovery of them is hugely important. And it happened because Dr. Reeves continued to trust his instinct that when it came to Kind Tut’s burial, there was more to the story yet to be told.
All of us face criticism at some point in our lives. All of us doubt our own ideas or dreams. But what if… what if we had the courage like Dr. Reeves, the fortitude to say yes we might be wrong, but what if … what if we were right? The journey takes bravery. It takes a disregard for safety that tests our most base instincts. But the results can be life changing, not just for ourselves, but for the world.
Here's to every person courageous enough to follow the journey, even against all odds.
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