The verdict is in for what’s behind King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber
What lies behind King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings? Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves made waves in 2015 when he published a paper proposing that there were two sealed-off rooms behind the north and west walls of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber—and that Queen Nefertiti’s tomb might be located in one of the secret rooms. Nefertiti, who died around 1331 B.C.E., was King Tut’s stepmother; she was the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten and, some scholars believe, was his co-regent under the name Neferneferuaten.
Two ground-penetrating radar (GPR) scans had previously been completed in the search for Queen Nefertiti’s tomb: the first had tantalizingly suggested the presence of cavities behind the walls of King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber, while the second determined that there were no hidden chambers.
A third GPR scan, conducted to settle the debate between these two conflicting results, recently concluded after three months of investigation. Ahram Online reports that Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, has revealed the results of the study: The third scan demonstrates that there are no hidden spaces in King Tut’s burial chamber.
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This latest GPR scan in the quest for Queen Nefertiti’s tomb had been undertaken by Francesco Porcelli of the Polytechnic University of Turin and his team. According to Ahram Online, which had a copy of Porcelli’s report on the study, “no marked discontinuities due to the passage from natural rock to man-made blocking walls are evidenced by the GPR radargrams, nor is there any evidence of the jambs or the lintel of a doorway. Similarly, the radargrams do not show any indication of plane reflectors, which could be interpreted as chamber walls or void areas behind the paintings of the funerary chamber.”
“It is concluded with a very high degree of confidence,” Porcelli writes in the report, “that the hypothesis concerning the existence of hidden chambers or corridors adjacent to Tutankhamun’s tomb is not supported by the GPR data.”
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