One of the most well-known pharaohs of all time may be hiding more secrets over 2000 years since he passed away. Saturday the Egyptian antiquities minister, Mamdouh el-Damaty, announced that King Tutankhamun’s tomb may be hiding more rooms. British archeologist Nicholas Reeves has stated those rooms could possibly include the remains of Queen Nefertiti. King Tut became a pharaoh at the ripe age of 10-years-old and died just nine years later. He is one of the most fabled pharaohs in history.
The new discoveries in King Tut’s resting place come by way of advancement in technology. High resolution, infrared and radar images have led el-Damaty to be 90 percent sure there are hidden rooms behind King Tut’s burial chamber, according to USA Today. Egyptologists are at odds with each other on whether Nefertiti is resting down the corridor continuation. There is speculation of another of King Tut’s father, Pharaoh Akhenaten’s, wives being buried along with King Tut. While Reeves believes Nefertiti’s remains will be found upon further exploration of King Tut’s final resting place, el-Damaty and other Egyptologists feel that Akhenaten’s wife, Kiya, will be found.
The images were intently scrutinized over the past three days and are now being sent to Japan where they will be studied for 30 more days before plans are made for further exploration. The images are being examined by Japanese radar specialist Hirokatsu Watanabe says USA Today. All plans for digging further into King Tut’s tomb must be carefully planned out so that no damage is done to the structure.
Before the readings of the new scans, el-Damaty felt there was a 60 percent chance of something being built behind the north wall of King Tut’s tomb. The readings give some weight to Reeves’ belief that there is more behind King Tut’s tomb.
“It does look from the radar evidence as if the tomb of Tutankhamun is a corridor tomb and it continues beyond the decorated burial chamber,” Reeves said at the press conference. According to Discovery News there were temperature differences at different parts of the north wall that required further investigation.
King Tut’s final burial-place is extremely small for that of a pharaoh, according to Reeves. This has led many Egyptologists to believe that the tomb was originally built for a queen. The very young King Tut’s death would have caught people off guard and thus a tomb of correct size wouldn’t have been completed in time to bury the King. It makes sense that the back up plan would be to bury King Tut in a tomb originally built for a queen. Finding remains of any of Akhenaten’s wives would go a long way to back this theory.
Many Egyptologists warn that it is too soon to get overly excited about the chance of new discoveries in King Tut’s pyramid. In fact, Egypt’s former antiquities minister, Zahi Hawass, has said there is nothing beyond King Tut’s burial room and that he has already proven it. Frank Ruhli, the director of the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich, claims that Queen Nefertiti may already have been found. A mummy called the Younger Lady was found in 1898 by archeologist Victor Loret, and genetic testing proves that she was King Tut’s mother.
New discoveries are always exciting for Egyptologists and ancient Egyptian fans alike. With what seems like a major new discovery around the corner, all eyes are on the boy king’s tomb.
King Tut’s tomb was originally discovered in 1922 by British archeologist Howard Carter. Items from King Tut’s tomb caused a sensation when they toured the United States in the late 1970s. Any new discoveries are sure to be well received by fans of ancient Egypt around the world.
[Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images]