Queen Nefertiti’s tomb may indeed be hidden behind the walls of the 3,300-year-old tomb of King Tutankhamun, archeologists led by former Egyptian minister of antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty believe.
In an unpublished academic report which was recently presented to Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities and seen by Nature, archeologists studying Tut’s tomb reported on their use of ground-penetrating radar, discovering what they say is a hidden corridor-like area just meters from Tutankhamun’s burial chamber.
It is here where Nefertiti, great royal wife and queen who presided over one of the most prosperous and stable periods in Ancient Egyptian history, is buried, archeologists believe.
The groundbreaking theory that Nefertiti, great royal wife and possible co-ruler alongside King Akhenaten, was buried in Tut’s tomb was first put forth by British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves in 2015. However, these claims have since been challenged, with a team led by Francesco Porcelli of the Turin Polytechnic University concluding in 2017 that there were no hidden rooms in or around the tomb.
Dr. Ray Johnson, an Egyptologist from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, told Nature that the group’s findings were “tremendously exciting,” noting that “clearly there is something on the other side of the north wall of the burial chamber.”
Zahi Hawass, another former Egyptian antiquities minister, expressed doubts about the new claims, insisting that the use of ground-penetrating radar “never made any discovery at any site in Egypt.”
For his part, Dr. Reeves stressed that it were confirmed that Nefertiti was buried with the honours of a pharaoh, “it could be the biggest archeological discovery ever.” Reeves stressed that any alterations to Tut’s tomb should be held off until an international conference of experts could be gathered, particularly given the priceless artwork contained along the walls of Tut’s chamber.
Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered in 1922 by a pair of British archeologists who became the first living people to enter the tomb in over 3,000 years. Thousands of artefacts ranging from furniture to chariots, musical instruments and board games were found, with the burial site remaining the only pharaoh tomb to ever be discovered intact and unpilfered.