The past few years have seen some juicy claims regarding a secret chamber hidden behind the tomb of King Tutankhamun, ancient Egypt’s favorite boy-king. Now, the most conclusive study to date has weighed in on the controversial theory.
Drum roll, please… There is no hidden chamber after all.
Egypt’s Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr Mostafa Waziri, announced on Sunday that new radar imaging by Italy’s Turin Polytechnic University provides conclusive evidence that no hidden rooms exist inside the burial chamber of King Tut.
Archaeologists had previously claimed they were “90 percent sure” that the hidden chamber exists. The hunt for the lost rooms originally sprang from a sensational claim made by British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, who argued the tomb of Tutankhamun was actually an outer chamber for the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, one of the wives of Tutankhamun’s father, Akhenaten. He even argued the long-lost body of the infamous queen could still be lying within the secret passage since her remains have never been found.
Following these big claims, three separate archaeological teams have beamed radar surveys at the tomb in the hopes of uncovering the truth. The first two, carried out by British and Japanese researchers, suggested there was a possibility there was a concealed chamber, but their results were not totally conclusive and many researchers remained unconvinced.
Dr Francesco Porcelli, the lead researcher of the new project, has now concluded “with a very high degree of confidence” that no such chamber or corridor exists. They used Ground Penetrating Radar to “see through” the thick rock tombs and search for any discontinuities between the wall’s thickness. If a certain portion of natural rock wall appears to be thinner, it could suggest the presence of a human-made blocking wall, added sometime after the initial structure was constructed. Alternatively, if the wall appears to have a large void behind it, this could indicate that there’s a room behind.
However, this new research showed no such indication of any suspicious walls, nor any large empty voids lurking behind them.
"It is maybe a little bit disappointing that there is nothing behind the walls of Tutankhamun's tomb, but I think on the other hand that this is good science," added Dr Porcelli, according to BBC News. Egypt's Antiquities Minister, Khaled al-Anani, said the authorities in the country accepted the results.
King Tutankhamun's mummy still rests in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Back in November 1922, the tomb was uncovered by British archaeologists, perhaps for the first time since the boy-king ruled ancient Egypt around 1332 to 1323 BCE. With his iconic gold and blue striped death mask, Tutankhamun has become somewhat of a poster boy for all Egyptian Pharaohs.