Archaeologist Nicholas Reeves has a knack for staring at things, like laser scans of King Tut’s tomb. He stared at these pictures, available online to anyone with a hankering for Egyptology, for a long time until something popped out at him.
He saw clear, straight lines underneath a coating of paint and plaster — two hidden doorways, National Geographic reported. So he went to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt, to examine these lines in person, and now he’s developed a radical theory.
Not only does Reeves believe there are hidden chambers behind King Tut’s resting place, he believes Queen Nefertiti is buried there. And in two months, he may be able to prove it.
“I am pretty sure that a very important discovery is to be made soon inside Tutankhamun’s tomb… I was nervous about this because it looks as if there’s something here, but let’s face it—it’s ridiculous!”
There are many hints that King Tut’s tomb has hidden chambers. First, the ceiling appears to extend past the room on the northern and western walls, the Huffington Post added. And the line on the ceiling matches the section of the wall that seems to have been covered with plaster
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) September 29, 2015
— ArchaeoNewsNet (@ArchaeoNewsNet) September 29, 2015
— David Nelson (@DavidNelsonNews) September 29, 2015
“We saw that on the ceiling itself there’s a distinct line,” Reeves explained. “It suggests that the room was indeed a corridor.”
And another hint: The wall in question is made of soft plaster, whereas the spot Nicholas suspects hides a doorway is comprised of gritty material. And this material actually matches some found covering a different blocked door in 1922, opened by archaeologists Howard Carter in 1922.
If the ancient Egyptians hid one door, perhaps they hid another — and buried the long-lost queen behind it.
Not too many of Reeves’ colleagues stand behind him in this theory, but he has some interesting clues backing up this belief. And just like his revelation about the tomb’s hidden chambers, the theory began by staring at King Tut’s golden funerary mask. Details emerged that suggested it may have been recycled — and originally made for a woman.
He believes that many of King Tut’s treasures — perhaps 80 percent of them — were made for someone else, and most likely a woman. And he thinks that woman was Nefertiti, who ruled as pharaoh under the name Neferneferuaten.
The principal wife of Tut’s father, Akhenaten (he had a different mother), Nefertiti supported her husband as he temporarily converted his kingdom to monotheism under the cult of the sun god Aton, Agence-France Presse reported.
King Tut — who ruled for nine years — died suddenly at 19 in 1324 B.C., long before his tomb would’ve been built. So, 10 years after Nefertiti died, her tomb was (hypothetically) opened up, her remains and grave goods moved out, and Tut and his sarcophagus moved in.
And the hidden rooms may be the place everything came to rest if Reeves is right. And because no one knew it was there, grave robbers and looters haven’t disturbed it over the intervening centuries.
What archaeologists may have, then, is the pristine resting place of the mysterious ruler.
To figure out what lies beyond this wall, archaeologists will use radar equipment and thermal imaging, and possibly a fiber-optic camera inserted through a small hole in the wall, to test Reeves’ controversial theory. The results will be announced on November 4, the anniversary of the discovery of the boy king’s resting place.
Before then, Egypt’s antiquities minister Mamdouh Eldamaty isn’t convinced.
“Maybe a room or a tomb… something there which will be a new addition to Egyptology but I don’t agree that much with him that it is Nefertiti’s tomb there.”
[Photo Courtesy Rachelle Burnside, Vladimir Wrangel / Shutterstock]