There appears to be definite proof of a secret chamber in King Tutankhamun or, as he is commonly known as, King Tut’s tomb.
“The investigation of King Tut’s tomb to find secret chambers ended today with promising results,” confirmed a statement from Egypt’s antiquity ministry, according to Discovery News. Infrared scanning of King Tut’s tomb has reported back results that seem to corroborate British archaeologist’s theory that Queen Nefertiti is also buried there.
Egypt has never been able to accurately identify Queen Nefertiti’s tomb. However, British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves recently announced that the legendary beauty’s tomb might be in a secret chamber next to Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of Kings at Luxor in southern Egypt. The claims have sent ripples of excitement in archaeological circles.
A team from Cairo University’s Faculty of Engineering, and a Paris-based organization called the Heritage Innovation and Preservation Institute used infrared thermography to measure the temperature of each of the walls of the tomb. The technology carefully compares temperature profiles of small sections and indicates if there are any differences. A difference in temperature in a seemingly uniform tapestry, or in this case, a wall, could indicate that the wall isn’t a single piece. Infrared thermography experiments revealed one area of the northern wall had a different temperature than other areas. This strongly suggests the possibility of a hidden chamber that was carefully concealed with plaster and then painted over, to make the wall appear as a whole, reported the Daily Mail.
The high-resolution radar scans of the walls of Tutankhamun’s tomb complex, derived after analyzing the walls, indicate not one, but two separate entrances that might possibly lead to two separate rooms. While one of the rooms is believed to contain Queen Nefertiti’s tomb, the other entrance might lead to a hidden storage room. It’s unclear what secrets the other room holds.
Without the technology it wouldn’t have been possible to know the existence of such hidden chambers. Egypt had launched a study in October known as “Scan Pyramids.” A project of international collaboration, the country’s archaeological team had invited experts from France, Canada and Japan to “unravel the secrets of the Giza pyramids outside Cairo,” reported Raw Story. The project’s scope extends beyond Tutankhamun’s tomb as the team tries to understand how the monuments were built with a supposedly limited set of tools that were human-powered only.
The project will also hunt for such secret chambers in other tombs of royalty. Minister of Antiquities Mamduh al-Damati revealed the team began with King Tutankhamun’s tomb. However, he refrained from confirming that one of the two entrances may actually be a gateway to Queen Nefertiti’s tomb. He did add that more experiments, including some using advanced thermography equipment, will be conducted to confirm that there are, in fact, hidden chambers in King Tut’s tomb before Egypt’s authorities breach the wall, which would destroy over 3,000-year-old artwork that has withstood the test of time.
Unfortunately, the experiments require a week or so to collect data, meaning it will take time to confirm the results, added al-Damati, reported Canada Journal.
The non-invasive method hasn’t altered the structure in any way, but unless the entrance to the chambers is broken, one cannot confirm what they contain. However, there have been theories that confidently claim that King Tut may have hijacked Queen Nefertiti’s tomb, perhaps because his own mausoleum hadn’t been built simply because no one could have predicted that King Tutankhamun would die so early at the tender age of 18. Others claim the queen’s tomb was intentionally sealed for religious reasons and since it wasn’t meant to be opened, was neatly concealed in one of the most prominent of tombs.
[Photo by Khaled Desouki / Getty Images]