Jawbone found in Aruba is not Natalee Holloway’s

Posted on April 16th, 2019

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A jawbone found in Aruba is not that of missing American Natalee Holloway, who was a recent high school-graduate at the time of her disappearance. Officials confirmed the news after Dutch scientists completed tests on the bone. The jawbone, which also had a wisdom tooth with it, was found by an American tourist close to the Phoenix Hotel. A second bone had also been found by another tourist earlier this month.

The bone was sent to the Netherlands Forensic Institute where scientists completed tests. They compared the bone to dental records given to them by Natalee’s father, from which they confirmed the the bone was not that of Natalee, although it was human. It was said to be unlikely that the bone was Holloway’s as there is no physical evidence that she was murdered.

Beth accepts the forensic conclusions, is emotionally exhausted from the inexplicably long wait, and deeply disappointed in the time and manner in which she learned of the results.

Taco Stein, the Aruban Solicitor General, released a statement after the announcement was made. He commented on the speed of the identification; he said that they had quickly ruled out Holloway because her records had shown that she had her wisdom teeth previously removed.

Tim Miller, the Director of the Texas EquuSearch, released a statement after talking to Natalee’s father. He said “Dave [Natalee’s father] has been in contact with Aruban authorities and spoke with FBI this morning, the agent working the case. Dave believes it is Natalee.”

An attorney for Natalee’s mother, Beth Twitty, released a statement saying “Beth accepts the forensic conclusions, is emotionally exhausted from the inexplicably long wait, and deeply disappointed in the time and manner in which she learned of the results.” He commented on the Aruban authorities saying that “Apparently Aruban prosecutors were more sensitive to media concerns than the painful vigil of a mother.”

Natalee Holloway disappeared on the island in 2005 while on a school trip. She was last seen leaving a nightclub with three men, one of which was later identified as Joran van der Sloot. Van der Sloot was detained twice by police but has never been charged with Holloway’s disappearance. He is currently in Peru facing a different murder charge. Aruban authorities have said that they are checking neighboring islands to find a match for other missing persons.

Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

Posted on April 16th, 2019

Friday, May 16, 2008

Controversy has arisen over the reported presence of blue asbestos on the MV Freewinds, a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology. According to the Saint Martin newspaper The Daily Herald and the shipping news journal Lloyd’s List, the Freewinds was sealed in April and local public health officials on the Caribbean island of Curaçao where the ship is docked began an investigation into the presence of asbestos dust on the ship. Former Scientologist Lawrence Woodcraft supervised work on the ship in 1987, and attested to the presence of blue asbestos on the Freewinds in an affidavit posted to the Internet in 2001. Woodcraft, a licensed architect by profession, gave a statement to Wikinews and commented on the recent events.

According to The Daily Herald, the Freewinds was in the process of being renovated by the Curaçao Drydock Company. The article states that samples taken from paneling in the ship were sent to the Netherlands, where an analysis revealed that they “contained significant levels of blue asbestos”. An employee of the Curaçao Drydock Company told Radar Online in an April 30 article that the Freewinds has been docked and sealed, and confirmed that an article about asbestos ran in the local paper.

Lloyd’s List reported that work on the interior of the Freewinds was suspended on April 27 after health inspectors found traces of blue asbestos on the ship. According to Lloyd’s List, Frank Esser, Curaçao Drydock Company’s interim director, joined Curaçao’s head of the department of labor affairs Christiene van der Biezen along with the head of the local health department Tico Ras and two inspectors in an April 25 inspection of the ship. “We are sending someone so that they can tell us what happened, where it came from, since when it has been there,” said Panama Maritime Authority’s director of merchant marine Alfonso Castillero in a statement to Lloyd’s List.

The Church of Scientology purchased the ship, then known as the Bohème, in 1987, through an organization called Flag Ship Trust. After being renovated and refitted, it was put into service in June 1988. The ship is used by the Church of Scientology for advanced Scientology training in “Operating Thetan” levels, as well as for spiritual retreats for its members. Curaçao has been the ship’s homeport since it was purchased by the Church of Scientology.

According to his 2001 statement, Lawrence Woodcraft had been an architect in London, England since 1975, and joined Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” (Sea Org) in 1986. He wrote that he was asked by the Sea Org to work on the Freewinds in 1987, and during his work on the ship “noticed a powdery blue fibrous substance approximately 1 ½” thick between the paint and the steel wall,” which he believed to be asbestos. He also discovered what he thought was blue asbestos in other parts of the ship, and reported his findings to Church of Scientology executives. Woodcraft discussed his experiences in a 2001 interview published online by the Lisa McPherson Trust, a now-defunct organization which was critical of the Church of Scientology.

The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards.

Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded to Radar Online about the asbestos reports, in an email published in an article in Radar on May 1. “The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards,” said Pouw. She stated that two inspections performed in April “confirmed that the air quality is safe,” and asserted that the inspections revealed the Freewinds satisfies standards set by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Pouw told Radar that “The Freewinds will be completing its refit on schedule.” The Church of Scientology-affiliated organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) had been planning a cruise aboard the Freewinds scheduled for May 8, but according to Radar an individual who called the booking number for the cruise received a message that the cruise had been delayed due to ongoing work on the ship. Citing an article in the Netherlands Antilles newspaper Amigoe, Radar reported on May 6 that a team from the United States and supervised by an independent bureau from the Netherlands traveled to Curaçao in order to remove asbestos from the Freewinds.

…if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff.

“I stand by everything I wrote in my 2001 affidavit,” said Lawrence Woodcraft in an exclusive statement given to Wikinews. Woodcraft went on to state: “I would also comment that if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff. Also panelling as well, basically strip the ship back to a steel hull. Also blue asbestos is sprayed onto the outer walls and then covered in paint. It’s in every nook and cranny.”

Many Scientologist celebrities have spent time aboard the Freewinds, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Chick Corea, Lisa Marie Presley, Catherine Bell, Kate Ceberano, and Juliette Lewis. Now magazine reported that Tom Cruise has been urged to seek medical attention regarding potential asbestos exposure, however a representative for Cruise stated he has “absolutely no knowledge” of the recent asbestos controversy. Cruise, Holmes, Travolta and Preston have celebrated birthdays and other events on the Freewinds.

There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.

In a May 15 statement to the United Kingdom daily newspaper Metro, a representative for the Church of Scientology said that “There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.” The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center notes that agencies have recommended anyone who has spent time on the Freewinds consult with their physician to determine if possible asbestos exposure may have affected their health.

Raw blue asbestos is the most hazardous form of asbestos, and has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1970. Blue asbestos fibers are very narrow and thus easily inhaled, and are a major cause of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which can develop in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the pericardium sac surrounding the heart. The cancer is incurable, and can manifest over 40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

“This is the most dangerous type of asbestos because the fibres are smaller than the white asbestos and can penetrate the lung more easily,” said toxicologist Dr. Chris Coggins in a statement published in OK! Magazine. Dr. Coggins went on to note that “Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, the victim has six months to a year to live. It gradually reduces lung function until the victim is no longer able to breathe and dies.”

CPSC, ATF warn of dangers of fireworks over US Independence Day celebrations

Posted on April 14th, 2019

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Last week, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) held a press conference on the National Mall in Washington, DC, warning consumers of the dangers of fireworks, and advising them of safe handling. They were joined by representatives from the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and other national safety agencies. Fireworks are often used to celebrate the United States’ July 4, 1776 independence from Great Britain. The Fourth of July is a time when many US families get together to celebrate, by holding reunions, picnics, barbecues, baseball games and firework displays; however, celebrations often turn sour due to injury or even death, caused by the mishandling of fireworks. In 2009, nearly 19,000 fireworks-related injuries were treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices and clinics all over the country. Around 9,000 of those were to children aged under 18, and 6,000 occurred during the 30 days surrounding Independence Day.

CPSC chairman, Inez Tenenbaum, said that burns and cuts to limbs, the face and head were the most common injuries, and over half of them were due to firecrackers, rockets and sparklers. The agencies were joined at the news conference by Jason Henderson, who was injured in 2007 after building home-made fireworks. He had found instructions online detailing how to build M-80-style fireworks, and after purchasing the chemicals, began assembling them; however, the mixture exploded which resulted in him losing both hands and his right eye, and shrapnel caused multiple lacerations and puncture wounds to his entire body. “Don’t be the show, go and enjoy the show. I want to get people to move away from putting on their own displays and just go and enjoy the free shows. I mean they are free,” Henderson said. “You might as well take advantage of them while they are there. You can spend time with your family instead of being the one to light them and taking that risk.” Henderson also appears in a public-service announcement recently released by the ATF to YouTube, that shows how he has now been fitted with bionic arms.

Agencies recommend attending community fireworks shows held by city or county officials, which are held in a more controlled and professional environment. Additionally, many jurisdictions outlaw either all fireworks, or certain types, such as rockets and firecrackers.

Fireworks increase demands on fire departments and personnel at this time of year, acting U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines noted. “Four firefighters [have been killed] as a result of illegal fireworks. Calls to EMS [Emergency Medical Services] and fire departments increased as individuals continue to be injured and burned.” The dry weather and heat that many areas are experiencing also elevate the risk of brush and structure fires. The National Fire Protection Association said that over 22,500 fires started from fireworks in 2008.

Consumers who do purchase fireworks are encouraged to follow the following common sense rules: always read and follow directions; always supervise older children and teenagers if they are permitted to use fireworks; never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, child-friendly sparklers and “party-poppers” are a fun and safe alternative for them; keep animals inside or well away from the fireworks, the noise will often scare them; never light any fireworks inside buildings; light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from houses, dry leaves, and flammable materials; never ignite fireworks in metal or glass containers; light one firework at a time; move away to a safe distance immediately after lighting a firework; never return to a firework that has not ignited properly; never throw fireworks at another person, animal, or property; do not consume alcohol when using fireworks; keep a bucket of water or a hose in close proximity in case of fire, dispose of use fireworks in the bucket of water; buy from reliable dealers; only use legal fireworks; and follow the laws of your jurisdiction.

News briefs:July 15, 2010

Posted on April 14th, 2019
Wikinews Audio Briefs Credits
Produced By
Turtlestack
Recorded By
Turtlestack
Written By
Turtlestack
Listen To This Brief

Problems? See our media guide.

[edit]

Car bomb ramming attack kills dozens at military base in Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan

Posted on April 14th, 2019

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A car bomb was on Monday rammed into a military base in Maidan Shahr in the centre of Afghanistan’s Maidan Wardak province. Dozens died in the attack, reportedly conducted by the Taliban.

The training centre belongs to the National Directorate for Security; it was targeted with a captured Humvee military car packed with explosives, followed by two gunmen. Some estimated death tolls, provided anonymously by officials to journalists, exceeded 100. Sharif Hotak, of the Maidan Wardak provincial council, described witnessing 35 bodies in one hospital, with some casualties, both alive and dead, transported to Kabul. “The explosion was very powerful. The whole building has collapsed,” he said.

Hotak also alleged the central government are “hiding accurate casualty figures to prevent a further dip in morale of the Afghan forces”, whose US-built armoured vehicle was used to breach the compound’s defences. A source within the central Interior Ministry reportedly said “I have been told not to make the death toll figures public. It is frustrating to hide the facts[.]”

The Taliban have claimed responsibility. Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid claimed 190 were dead. Efforts are ongoing to negotiate a peaceful end to the conflict within the nation, in which the Taliban, once the governing force, seeks to retake control and reimpose their version of Sharia law. Reuters reported Monday’s attack the deadliest since an assault in Ghazni in August 2018, with officials reporting at the time 150 security forces, 95 civilians, and hundreds of Taliban killed.

Abdurrahman Mangal, spokesperson for the provincial governor, said the attack had killed twelve and injured twelve more.

The Taliban met on Monday with Zalmay Khalilzad, a US peace envoy, in Qatar. Last week a Kabul car bombing killed five and wounded 110, another attack ascribed to the Taliban. The civil war has been ongoing for seventeen years; the Taliban wants foreign forces to leave and the Afghan government shut out of peace talks.

Iran Foreign Minister: Britain must admit to trespassing before soldiers are released

Posted on April 12th, 2019

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has said that Britain must admit to illegally entering Iranian waters before the 15 sailors and marines detained by Iran on March 23 are to be released.

“This [situation] can be solved. But they have to show that it was a mistake, that will help us to end this issue. Admitting the mistake will facilitate a solution to the problem,” Mottaki said during a summit in Saudi Arabia.

Britain has not yet responded to the comment.

According to a UK government report, the Iranian government initially gave the position of the incident as a location outside Iranian territorial waters. However, on March 24, General Alireza Afshar, Iran’s top military general, stated that the sailors were engaged “in illegal and suspicious activities” inside Iranian waterways at the time of their detention and that the sailors “have admitted to violating the territorial waters of the Islamic republic”.

After the UK government queried the statement by General Alireza Afshar, the Iranian government gave a revised position for the incident, now placing it inside Iranian territorial waters.

By the time HMS Cornwall knew that our forces had been detained unlawfully by the Iranians, they were in Iranian waters, and again military engagement would have put a lot of lives at risk. I think that they took the right decision…

Despite the increased tension, Mottaki stated that officials from Britain will be able to see the soldiers.

“We have accepted that [the request by Britain], there is no problem. Measures are underway [to allow officials to meet] them. They can meet them,” said Mottaki.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon called for the release of the soldiers saying “I’d like to see them released.”

Ban has a scheduled meeting on Friday morning with Mottaki to discuss the current detainment of the British soldiers and plans to ask for their release.

The sailors and marines, from the frigate HMS Cornwall, had been inspecting, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1723, a ship that was believed to be smuggling cars into Iraq, though it was subsequently cleared after inspection, when Iranian gunboats surrounded the troops.

In parliament yesterday, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was asked about the rules of engagement for UK forces operating under a UN mandate in Iraqi waters. Blair suggested that “the rules of engagement do allow [UK] forces to take whatever measures are necessary in their own self-defence…I think that [the soldiers] took the right decision and did what was entirely sensible,” said Blair in reference to the UK forces not engaging in military combat when first confronted by the Iranians.

Blair also commented on the response by the crew of HMS Cornwall. “By the time HMS Cornwall knew that our forces had been detained unlawfully by the Iranians, they were in Iranian waters, and again military engagement would have put a lot of lives at risk. I think that they took the right decision,” said Blair.

Wikinews investigates disappearance of Indonesian cargo ship Namse Bangdzod

Posted on April 12th, 2019

Thursday, January 10, 2019

In late December, Indonesian cargo ship MV Namse Bangdzod vanished in local waters. The tanker, gross tonnage around 1,150 and loaded with crude palm oil, had over ten crewmembers. Wikinews examined data and contacted experts and local authorities in an effort to establish further details.

The exact date of disappearance is unclear, with industry publications reporting either December 27 or December 28. Crew totals are also unclear, with both eleven and twelve reported by industry sources while The Jakarta Post reports a captain and eleven other crew. Wikinews has contacted the Command and Control Centre of the Coast Guard seeking to clarify, among other things, the date of the disappearance and is awaiting a response.

Wikinews is also awaiting responses from both the Coast Guard and the National Search and Rescue Agency detailing the efforts being made to find the ship, which was last known to be in the Java Sea. MV Namse Bangdzod sailed with cargo from Sampit, a port town on a river in Borneo; it was last bound for Jakarta. It is owned and operated by Indonesian companies and also registered in Indonesia. The 75 m (250 ft) ship was built in 1993 in Japan.

Ships broadcast their position and other information via both the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system. AIS is a ship-to-ship safety system, but can also be detected from further afield by satellites. Marine Traffic’s AIS tracking database shows a reestablishment of AIS contact by MV Namse Bangdzod on January 6, with a pattern described by Marine Bulletin as “rather hectic and kind of confused”. In addition to asking local authorities, Wikinews sought expert input on the AIS data.

Dr. Tristan Smith of University College London, a shipping researcher with expert experience interpreting AIS results, explained to Wikinews that crews might turn their AIS transponders off on purpose for security reasons, such as “in certain sea areas where piracy is a risk” in order to “avoid attracting unwanted attention. This can involve them being turned off for several days at a time.” Doug Miller of Milltech Marine, a firm specialising in AIS, told our correspondent an AIS transponder will broadcast automatically provided it has power and antennae, even if the crew abandoned the vessel.

Baslan Damang, a security official from the port of departure, on Tuesday told The Jakarta Post radio broadcasts were being used to alert other traffic such as fishing vessels to look out for MV Namse Bangdzod. He added authorities “are still waiting for updates on the tanker’s condition, so please refrain from speculating that it had been hijacked”. As of yesterday, no oil slicks or other evidence of accidents have been found along the scheduled route the vessel was due to take. A major search continues.

Miller and Smith both acknowledged faults with the AIS system on-board as possible explanations, with Miller describing issues with the signal between the transponder and the satellite receiving it as one potential scenario for intermittent data reception. He too suggested a hypothetical scenario, in which “the AIS equipment has been tampered with or has been turned off for some of the time — either intentionally or accidentally or due to a power malfunction.” Smith called the disappearance an “interesting” case; Miller said “It is a little hard to definitively say what’s going on”. Miller explained that while transponders generally transmit every ten seconds “even if the transponder is transmitting there is no guarantee that other vessels or MarineTraffic can see it”. “It could also be a power supply issue or faulty transponder”, said Smith.

Smith told Wikinews “There are also some operations done on ships containing hazardous cargoes[…] where all risks of sparking/arcs need to be removed and radio transmitting equipment is sometimes turned off for this reason.” He said this applied to product tankers, but the long duration of AIS downtime would in this instance be unusual if this is the reason. Smith had one more theory: Namse Bangdzod could be the victim of identity theft, with a second vessel conducting manoeuvres it wished to conceal while falsely transmitting information identifying itself as Namse Bangdzod. Smith told Wikinews this might happen in cases of illegal fishing. He stated “In this scenario, it would normally be expected that both the legal and illegal transmission would be received but depending on how Marine Traffic handle this, it’s possible the two signals could be confused.”

Smith drew attention to LRIT as another method for search and rescue personnel to find the tanker. Unlike AIS, which is a safety and tracking system, LRIT is used for maritime security by seagoing nations. Created under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization, LRIT allows states to examine data about ships bearing their flag, visiting their ports, or in or near their waters.

Like all vessels exceeding 300 tons, Namse Bangdzod is required to transmit LRIT data. Search and rescue bodies can also access this information; Smith told Wikinews he believed this would include foreign navies with ships in the Java Sea. Singapore, India, and Australia have in the past conducted emergency searches of the Java Sea: All three nations offered military assistance after Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 vanished in December 2014.

HAVE YOUR SAY
What has happened to MV Namse Bangdzod?
Add or view comments

Marine Traffic’s website’s most recently publicly available AIS result, as of Tuesday, showed the ship underway a few miles off Jakarta. VesselFinder listed no AIS results for the last month. Vessel Tracker’s database had no sighting of the ship within the last 59 days on Tuesday; the website noted the AIS signal received from Jakarta but declared the ship was not actually there. Maritime Connector has an entry for the ship in its database but has no location data available.

Local authorities, according to Maritime Bulletin, have noted other unusual AIS data. The website yesterday suggested piracy, perhaps to obtain the valuable cargo, is now the most prominent theory. The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association reports a value of US$473.60 per metric ton of crude palm oil as of November 2018, with the price decreasing that month. “Its plausible that an explanation [why] the AIS transponder is not transmitting is that it had been turned off by pirates who wanted to hamper the efforts of a rescue mission” Smith told Wikinews yesterday.

Yesterday the Search and Rescue Agency told The Jakarta Post it was intending to end its search on the basis of piracy, which is outside its remit; the paper also spoke to the Navy, who told it this was as-yet uncomfirmed and noted no ransom has been sought and the ship vanished from an area without previous piracy problems. Four Navy ships assisted by aircraft are searching. “We will continue searching until we find it,” 1st Fleet Command’s Navy Information Agency head Arba Agung told The Jakarta Post, which also today reported location data falsely showing the ship in Sunda Kelapa Port after its inaccurate position in Jakarta Bay was recorded.

News briefs:June 4, 2010

Posted on April 8th, 2019
Wikinews Audio Briefs Credits
Produced By
Turtlestack
Recorded By
Turtlestack
Written By
Turtlestack
Listen To This Brief

Problems? See our media guide.

[edit]

Over 10,000 attend Gallipoli dawn service for ANZAC Day centenary

Posted on April 3rd, 2019

Monday, April 27, 2015

A crowd of over 10,000 people attended the dawn service on Saturday at Gallipoli, Turkey for the 100th anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops there in 1915. The solemn remembrance ceremony was held at the site of the original Gallipoli landings, now known as Anzac Cove.

The Gallipoli Campaign of the First World War is remembered as a failed attack in which thousands of lives were lost for little to no gain for either side. The campaign killed 45,000 Allied and 86,000 Turkish troops.

Attendees at the dawn service included Prince Charles, the Prime Minister of Australia, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s speech later in the day emphasised the importance of the day to Australians. “Like every generation since, we are here on Gallipoli because we believe the Anzacs represented Australians at their best. Because they rose to their challenges, we believe it is a little easier for us to rise to ours. Their example helps us to be better than we would otherwise be”, he said.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key at dawn described Gallipoli as a symbol of the highest ideals of Australians and New Zealanders “especially when they work side by side in the face of adversity”.

Prince Charles stirred emotions by reading extracts from a serviceman’s diary. The diary entry, by Company Quartermaster Sergeant Benjamin Leane, was addressed to his wife and was written hours before the first Gallipoli landing.

The centenary milestone of Anzac Day also drew a Turkish security force of 3700, both police and paramilitary. Attendees entered past six security checkpoints.

A record 120,000 people also attended services at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra to commemorate the centenary.

Egyptian treasures found in ancient tomb

Posted on April 2nd, 2019

Friday, March 13, 2009

A team of archaeologists excavating an Ancient Egyptian tomb have discovered golden jewelry in a recently-discovered lower chamber at the Valley of the Kings burial site in Luxor, Egypt.

Two golden rings and five golden earrings were found in the tomb of Djehuty, an 18th-dynasty official of Queen Hatshepsut, and were probably the property of Djehuty or his family.

The discovery was announced by Farouk Hosni, Egypt’s current Minister of Culture.

Djehuty was overseer of the treasury and overseer of works for the Queen. Hatshepsut reigned approximately 1479–1458 BCE. Djehuty was responsible for managing the huge amounts of precious goods brought in from Egypt’s military expedition to Punt in the Horn of Africa and the vast building projects of Hatshepsut which have made the female pharaoh one of the most-remembered of any from ancient Egypt.

Djehuty died after Hatshepsut did, sometime during the reign of Thutmosis III. Both Hatshepsut’s and Thutmosis’s names are recorded on the tomb. In a fashion typical of ancient Egyptian rivalries, Hatshepsut’s name was partly obscured on the monument over the tomb sometime after the queen’s death.

The team, led by José Manuel Galán of the National Research Center (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC), in Madrid, Spain, had been excavating the tomb, designated TT11 and located in the necropolis of Dra’ Abu el-Naga’, since 2002. While much of Djehuty’s funerary equipment was lost to fire in antiquity, the lower chamber of his tomb was concealed at the end of a three-meter shaft and discovered at the end of 2008.

A superficial description of the tomb itself was recorded almost two hundred years ago by 19th-century French Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion, rubble blocking the entrance hindered excavation until the 21st century. In that time, emphasis in Egyptology has changed from the cataloging of treasures to the investigation of ancient culture, life and religion.

Since excavation began, Djehuty’s tomb has yielded a number of surprises. It was discovered that the tomb was re-used repeatedly up to and during the Greco-Roman period. There is an unusual face-on depiction of pharaoh Thutmosis III hunting ducks, and the mummy of a young, bejewelled, as-yet unidentified woman.

In 2007, 44 preserved bunches of flowers thought to be from Djehuty’s funeral were found in the site. In their 8th season of excavation, which ended on February 22, 2009, the team also found considerable evidence that below Djehuty’s tomb is a network of burial sites from the 11th dynasty, four thousand years old.

The lower chamber also displays passages from the Egyptian funerary text the Book of the Dead on its walls and a colorful mural of the goddess Nut, an embodiment of the heavens, on the ceiling. The names of Djehuty and his parents were also intact in the second chamber; the names were defaced in the previously-known first chamber of the tomb, which had also been looted.

According to a press release from Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Djehuty’s tomb is only the fifth known decorated burial chamber of the 18th dynasty. An additional unusual feature of the tomb is that its upper chamber is decorated in relief, rather than simply paint. When the excavation is completed, Dr Galán’s team plans to open the site to the public as the carved stoneworks will not be destroyed by tourists’ activities as paint would.

The identification of Djehuty is a complicated one, as a number of officials of the 18th dynasty bore the name, including a general and several governors. The name itself is an alternate transliteration of the name of the Egyptian god usually written in English as Thoth.