For years now, Egyptologists have been searching for Nefertiti’s tomb all around the country after the late Egyptian Queen disappeared 3,000 years ago. However, for the past few months, the search for the resting place of Nefertiti has been inside the tomb of King Tut, which researchers believe is where she was hidden. The trouble with this thought is that Nefertiti’s disappearance after her 12-year reign beside King Amenhotep IV never resulted in any uncovered information. Therefore, no one knows if she went on to rule another kingdom under a new name, or died.
Until now, efforts to find Nefertiti have only been through research, as the journey to the tomb of King Tutankhuman is difficult due to severe heat, for which ancient Egyptians credited the son god, Aten. This ongoing search for Nefertiti’s tomb is based on a theory developed by British archaeologist Nicolas Reeves, which he published in a report last August. His theory was inspired by two convincing events.
First, the tomb of Nefertiti’s son was found in King Tut’s tomb in 1922, indicating that the entire family, if dead, would have the tomb as their own. Second, a group of Spanish artistic and preservation specialists produced very detailed scans of King Tut’s tomb, which revealed two square areas whose purposes were unaccounted for. Both of the areas appear to have previously had doorways which deteriorated over time, and Reeves believes that one of them is just large enough to possibly hold the sarcophagus of Nefertiti. In his report, he included a blueprint of his theory.
Counting on the evidence he compiled, Nicolas Reeves and a group of fellow archaeologists visited King Tut’s burial chamber this weekend, according to CNN. After the inspection of the area behind King tut’s sarcophagus where the remains of Nefertti’s are thought to be, Reeves’ belief of his theory grew stronger. In a recent statement, the University of Arizona archaeologist confessed his utter belief.
“I had no preconceived notion that Nefertiti was buried here. To be honest, for some time, I fought the conclusion because it seemed so extraordinary. But that is where the evidence seems to be pointing.”
So, what was it about the inside of King Tut’s burial chamber that made Nicholas Reeves so certain the Queen Nefertiti was just behind his wall. Well, just like all the other clues ancient Egyptians left behind, the hieroglyphics on the back wall of King Tut’s chamber signify that someone is buried there and that someone was royalty. Specifically, Reeves recalls seeing a mummy and a pharaoh which greatly resembles many depictions of King Tut and mother, Queen Nefertiti, in artwork. Additionally, the cracks and lines upon the yellow stained walls show other evidence which Reeves also makes a statement about.
“Without all this distracting color you can see all sort of things. You can see lines that indicate corners of cut walls, and these are the things that I noticed first. If I’m right, this is simply part of the entrance to the tomb of Nefertiti. The tomb, I think, continues beyond this wall. There will be a burial chamber beyond there.”
In efforts to protect King Tut’s tomb, which is the sole reason that the low king is famous, Reeves and his team plan to use thermal imaging to see through the tomb’s walls before anything is torn down. Followers of Nicholas Reeves’ theoretical research are both supportive and skeptical about Nefertiti’s burial place. Egyptian antique expert Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty believes that the additional space in the tomb could just as easily be another member of Tut’s family according to BBC, the antiques minister made a statement of his stance.
“I hope we find Nefertiti but I doubt it. I can’t say it’s a big probability. It could be Nefertiti, it could be Kia, it could be other members of the family of Tutankhamun. Let us wait for the results at the end.”
[Image via Getty Images/Credit: Andreas Rentz]