Since archeologists cracked open his tomb at the Valley of the Kings in 1922, Tutankhamun has been the poster boy for ancient Egypt. Despite this, we know surprisingly little about the 3,330-year-old pharaoh. A discovery, announced this weekend, could show that his secrets are even deeper than we thought.
After three days of radar scans, archeologists are “90 percent sure” there are hidden chambers within King Tutankhamun’s tomb. The scans revealed an unopened “corridor” behind two hidden doorways in the tomb, which could lead to a burial chamber not seen for over 3,000 years.
An international ensemble of researchers used radar scans on the infamous tomb starting on Thursday evening, as the Sun set and the tourists had all left.
This find could confirm the bold and controversial claim of Nicholas Reeves, who stated the tomb of Tutankhamun was a rushed outer chamber of Queen Nefertiti's tomb – his mother-in-law, who some believe was also a pharaoh. In a deep study of the objects in Tutankhamun’s tomb, Reeves believes 80 percent of them are in fact made for a woman. He has also suggested that King Tut’s iconic gold mask had been modified and was originally Queen Nefertiti’s.
“Everything is adding up,” Reeves said to National Geographic, “The tomb is not giving up its secrets easily. But it is giving them up, bit by bit. It’s another result. And nothing is contradicting the basic direction of the theory.
“When I first published my paper I think that colleagues around the world thought I was crazy,” he added. “But I think it has changed. I think people believe that even if the tomb of Nefertiti isn’t behind the wall, they believe that something else is there.”
However, many archeologists are cautious about jumping to conclusions and say further research is required. Egypt's antiquities minister, Mamdouh el-Damaty, said the search will go on hold until the findings are sent to Japan for a month-long analysis.
Tutankhamun and his family are believed to have ruled Egypt in one of the most turbulent of times. This rule was eventually ended by one of Tutankhamun’s own top generals, Horemheb, who took control and destroyed many of the written records detailing this period. Perhaps it is fitting that a new chapter of his legacy opens at a time when Egypt is, once again, attempting to recover from revolution and war.