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Network of tombs found near obelisk site

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Author Topic: Network of tombs found near obelisk site  (Read 61 times)
Trevor Proffitt
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Posts: 1988

« on: June 20, 2007, 01:27:50 pm »

Paris - Experts have discovered a major network of underground funerary chambers and arches near the original site of an ancient obelisk in Ethiopia, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) said on Monday. The discovery was made in the past week during a surveying mission in the east African country in preparation for the return of the final piece of the 1 700-year-old Axum obelisk from Italy, the agency said. Teams from the Paris-based Unesco found the chambers using high-technology imaging equipment. "It is likely that some of the tombs identified through underground imaging are intact," said Koichiro Matsuura, Unesco's director-general, in a statement.

'Some of the tombs identified through underground imaging are intact'

The Axum site was classified as a Unesco World Heritage site in 1980. The obelisk - a symbol of African civilisation - was stolen in 1937 under orders from Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. The vast chambers, part of a royal necropolis predating the Christian era, are located underneath a parking lot built on the site in 1963, Unesco said. Italian researchers were examining images and were working to create three-dimensional models of the royal tombs, the agency said. - Sapa-AP
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