THE CARTOUCHE OF KHUFU: When was it damaged?
UNTIL late DECEMBER 2013, as far as I know, NO ONE HAD BEEN AWARE that the Cartouche had been damaged (three or four small white spots on the top rim of the oval). The first person to point out the damage was Egyptologist Monica Hanna in late DECEMBER 2013.
So WHEN was the Cartouche damaged? And WHO or WHAT damaged it?
THE ‘WHEN’ the Carotuche was damaged:
It also proves that Hawass saw and examined the Cartouche in July 2004 BEFORE it was damaged and, later in 2007 and also in 2010 AFTER it was damaged. Since he was the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and also the General Director of the Giza Pyramids, as well as being dubbed the world expert on the pyramids, he, at least, SHOULD have noticed the damage. Hawass either did not notice the damage or, for reason that we do not know, FAILED to report the damage.
Digging for the Truth. “Who Built Egypt’s Pyramids? S1 EP1
(Aired Jan 2005) 18:23
HAWASS EXAMINES CARTOUCHE WHICH IS NOT DAMAGED YET
Secrets of the Pyramids. Relief Chamber.
(3 Dec 2006)
CARTOUCHE IS NOW DAMAGED
Zahi Hawass en la Camera descarga en las gran pitamida.
Chasing Mummies. S1 EP2: Trapped.
The ‘WHO’ or ‘WHAT’ damaged the Cartouche:
This remains to be resolved. But it will not be easy. This is because from July 2004 and December 2006 –more than TWO YEARS— there has been dozens, perhaps even hundreds of permits issued for ‘PRIVATE VISITS” to travel agents and tour operators allowing them to take up to 20 tourists each time inside the Great Pyramid outside normal visiting hours. And although these ‘Private Visit’ permits DO NOT not allow entry into the RELIEF CHAMBERS (the Khufu Cartouche in in the topmost Relief Chamber, it is unfortunately know that many of the tourists did, in fact, access these chambers ! A casual google search will demonstrate this fact. Zahi Hawass has also allowed TV production companies to enter the Relief Chambers during July 2004 and December 2006, although I cannot ascertain how many.
POSTSCRIPT: Based on the evidence above, on the 27 March 2014 the MINISTRY OF ANTIQUITIES ordered a NEW INVESTIGATION to determine who/when the Khufu Cartouche was damaged during July 2004 and December 2006. We await the official results.