King Tut's Tomb Hidden Chamber a Near Certainty

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November 29, 2015

After just three days of using modern noninvasive technology, Egypt’s government has said that it is almost certain that a hidden chamber will be found behind the tomb of the legendary boy king Tutankhamen.

Mamdouh el-Damati, Egypt’s antiquities minister, made the announcement after high-resolution images turned up straight lines in the walls of King Tut’s tomb, opened by Howard Carter in 1922.

Adding to the appeal (and one of the prime motivators for the new search) is a contention by a prominent Egyptologist from the United Kingdom that hidden in a chamber within Tut’s tomb is none other than Nefertiti, the most famous wife of the pharaoh Akhenaten, whose monotheism revolutionized Egyptian religion. The theory, put forward by Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, is that Tutankhamen died earlier than many people expected and was then buried in an outer chamber of what was originally the tomb of Nefertiti. Reeves said that the scans strongly suggested that Tut’s tomb was a corridor tomb, meaning one found on the way to another.

Reeves has been prominent in his assertion that the tomb of Tutankhamen contains a hidden tomb and that that hidden tomb belongs to Nefertiti. Other Egyptologists aren’t so sure. Zahi Hawass, who for many years was Egypt’s antiquities minister, has asserted that Nefertiti, who along with Akehnaten led the Aten religious revolution, would never have been buried in the Valley of the Kings. Damati, the current antiquities minister, has said that the tomb might be that not of Nefertiti but of Kiya, Akhenaten’s second wife.

Recent scientific study has suggested with some certainty that Akhenaten was the father of Tutankhamen. The same research has suggested to some Egyptologists that the body identified in a Valley of Kings burial site as KV55 is Akhenaten. He was originally buried at Amarna, which, at the time of his reign, was called Akhetaten.

Nefertiti is famous in her own right for being a powerful queen and a strong influence on her husband, who ruled for 17 years and, for a time, moved Egypt away from the worship of many gods and centered the religion on one god, the Aten. She is also famous for a famous bust said to be of her, found in 1912 at Amarna, the capital of Akhenaten’s empire.

Her tomb has not been found.

Damati said that the results of the scans of the tomb walls would be sent to Japan for full analysis, with results expected by the end of the year.

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