Improving environmental conditions in the tomb of Tutankhamen

Lori Wong, Vincent Beltran, Chen Yang, Shin Maekawa, Sara Lardinois, Hany Hussein, Neville Agnew

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The tomb of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt, one of the major attractions of the World Heritage Site of Ancient Thebes and its Necropolis on the West Bank of modern day Luxor, is today a destination for mass tourism. Visitors to the tomb increase relative humidity, elevate carbon dioxide levels, and encourage natural ventilation which facilitates entry of dust into the tomb. These conditions negatively impact the wall paintings and remaining artifacts in the tomb and create an uncomfortable environment for visitors. The deposition of dust inside the tomb collects on uneven wall painting surfaces, obscures their legibility and necessitates cycles of cleaning, which in turn leads to further damage. Developing environmental management strategies in the tomb to counter the effects of visitors and mitigate dust entry is an important component of the collaborative project between the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities (MoA) to conserve the tomb. These included implementation of a filtered-air supply and exhaust ventilation system to stabilize the interior microclimate and reduce dust in order to improve visitor comfort and contribute to the long-term preservation of the tomb.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPreventive Conservation: The State of the Art, Contributions to the 2018 IIC Congress Preprints, Turin
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameStudies in Conservation
ISSN (Print)0039-3630
ISSN (Electronic)2047-0584


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