The theory that King Tut’s tomb could hold the key to finally locating Queen Nefertiti’s burial place in two secret burial chambers that seemed to be within the boy king’s own tomb has sparked excitement and debate amongst archaeologists in Egypt. However, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities cast doubt on the theory this weekend after stating that new evidence is contradicting the previous scans that gave so much hope.
The international conference in Cairo dedicated to the boy king Tutankhamun occurred this past weekend, lasting a total of three days and causing a serious disagreement between the archaeologists present. The theory that Nefertiti was found was first put forward last August by British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, and in March, Egypt’s then-Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty gave credence to the possibility that the long lost tomb of Queen Nefertiti was hidden, possibly for religious reasons, with King Tut. He advised reporters that radar scans had revealed that metal and organic masses were hidden inside and were a likely indicator that funerary items were hidden in the room.
However, according to AOL, the new Antiquities Minister, Khaled El-Enany, says the new evidence shows that there is no conclusive result. Eldamaty had been confident in his announcement, though, saying that the radar scans had been carried out and analyzed by Japanese specialist Hirokatsu Watanabu and had revealed two hidden spaces on the north and eastern walls. This made him issue a statement that a “90 percent chance” that Queen Nefertiti’s burial place would be found hidden in Tut’s tomb. Nefertiti was the wife of the “heretic” monotheistic pharaoh Akhenaten who was Tutankhamun’s father,
The backtracking on the possibility by Khaled El-Enany began last month and Khaled El-Enany is erring on the side of caution now after new scans gave contradictory information. He also went on to assure the public that there would be no physical examination of the tomb at this time, not while new evidence was still incoming and so many doubts existed. He maintained that “I will not make any drills until I am sure 100 percent that there is a cavity behind the wall… Until now, we don’t have a conclusive result.”
Located in the Valley of the Kings, King Tut’s Tomb was given the name KV62 and has been subjected to plenty of research since its discovery in 1922. Nicholas Reeves, who works at the University of Arizona, believes that when King Tut died unexpectedly at the age of 19 in 1323 B.C. it forced tomb builders to put him in the tomb that was originally Queen Nefertiti’s burial place, who had died 10 years prior. Responding to critics, Reeves continues to defend his theory.
“I was looking for the evidence that would tell me that my initial reading was wrong. But I didn’t find any evidence to suggest that. I just found more and more indicators that there is something extra going on in Tutankhamun’s tomb.”
Discovery News has written that another former Antiquities Minister, Zahi Hawass, is firmly in doubt about the theory, arguing that never in his career has a radar scan yielded any new discovery in Egypt. He also stated that a follow-up scan did not show those promising results previously found.
“If there is any masonry or partition wall, the radar signal should show an image. We don’t have this, which means there is nothing there.”
The theory about King Tut’s tomb being Queen Nefertiti’s burial place and all the attention that it received is said to have come at a time when Egypt was struggling to revive her tourism industry after years of political unrest had caused its steady decline.
[Photo Courtesy of Andreas Rentz/Getty Images]