Over the decades, archaeology has improved because of major advancements in its methods. Incorporating better techniques and better technology, archaeologists are making new discoveries not just from excavations, but also from re-studying previously discovered artifacts. A prime example of such is best seen with the Shigir Idol. Archaeologists now know that the etchings on the world’s oldest wood statue may actually be the story of the beginning of the world specifically told in the Book of Enoch.
Sometimes, however, new archaeological techniques are not necessary to discover something new. Just through re-examination, one archaeologist is making an interesting theory pertaining to Tutankhamun’s tomb. It is claimed that said treasures may not actually belong to the famous boy-king of Egypt. As a matter of fact, the artifacts may actually be originally made for his stepmother Nefertiti. This also includes the most famous artifact from Tutankhamun’s tomb, the death mask.
According to a report by Ancient Origins, British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves made it known that he believes Tutankhamun’s treasures really belonged to Nefertiti during a press conference held on Thursday, October 1, 2015, at the State Information Authority in Heliopolis. He came up with his conclusions after viewing King Tutankhamun’s death mask when it was remounted years ago in a museum. The peculiar detail he found was that the face was made independent of the opposite side.
“I thought that it was very strange and may just be a technical feature. It is very unusual.”
Other details were peculiar as well. The gold used for the face differs from the gold used on the back of the mask and its inlays. The eyes were made in lapis while other blue portions were made from glass. However, there are two major peculiar details that really pushed Nicholas Reeves’ theory. The first were the ear holes in the mask. When the death mask was originally discovered, those holes were covered with disks of gold foil, something that was quite peculiar. It should be known that studies found that Egyptian kings never wore earrings. But the death mask had them, presumably to give access to the ears of the face to hang earrings.
“There is no image of any ancient Egyptian king wearing earrings. But the funerary mask has holes to hang earrings.”
The second was a change in the inscription on the death mask itself. That is considered a sign that the treasures found in the tomb originally belonged to someone else.
“Looking at the mask again I can see that the inscription on the cartouch has been changed, meaning that all these treasures found in Tutankhamun’s tomb were originally made for Nefertiti as a co-regent to her husband king Akhenaten, and not for Tutankhamun as previously thought.”
Nicholas Reeves’ theory that Tutankhamun’s treasures (or at least 80 percent of them) belonged to Nefertiti is interesting on its own, but it is the other part of his theory that really got everyone’s attention, as reported by Ahram Online. Reeves believes Nefertiti’s final resting place actually hides behind Tutankhamun’s burial chamber, which is why Tutankhamun’s tomb had a lot of her artifacts. Mamdouh Eldamaty, the Minister of Antiquities, gave insight on possibly finding out if Reeves’ theory is true.
“For now, we have to wait until the end of November to confirm the existence of a hidden chamber. At that time, radar and thermal imaging will be used to scan the tomb, differentiating between bedrock and artificial walls. Even if he finds a hidden passageway, that doesn’t mean that digging will begin immediately.”
Before any excavation for Nerfititi’s burial chamber, archaeologists need to do two important tasks. The first is to protect King Tutankhamun’s tomb. The second will be to plan how to do such an excavation. Will archaeologists dig from above, below, or from the side? Until the planning stages are hammered out, actually putting hammer to dirt and stone will have to wait.
[Featured Image via Hannes Magerstaedt/Stringer/Getty, 1st Post Image via Philip Pikart/Wikipedia Commons, 2nd post Image via Ahram Online]