Archaeologists Believe They May Have Found Queen Nefertiti's Tomb

Famous bust of Queen Nefertiti. Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock

Despite being one of the most famous ancient Egyptian queens, the location of Nefertiti's tomb remains a mystery to researchers. Now, a radical new theory may provide the answers researchers have been waiting for. Archaeologist Dr. Nicholas Reeves believes he may have discovered Queen Nefertiti's long-lost tomb. He suggests her remains may be hidden behind the burial chamber of King Tutankhamun.

King Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut, was Egypt’s boy pharaoh. Believed by many to be the son of Nefertiti, the boy king's rule ended when he died aged 19. His tomb, which was discovered in 1922, provided researchers with a treasure trove of information about ancient Egyptian royalty. It’s the most intact Egyptian tomb ever to be discovered, in which close to 2,000 objects were found.  

Reeves, a residential scholar at the University of Arizona, detailed his findings in a published paper called The Burial of Nefertiti? He examined high-resolution images from inside King Tut’s tomb and found what he believes to be two hidden doorways.

“Cautious evaluation of the Factum Arte scans over the course of several months has yielded results which are beyond intriguing: indications of two previously unknown doorways, one set within a larger partition wall and both seemingly untouched since antiquity,” Reeves notes in the paper.

He suggests one entrance leads to a storeroom, while the other is a portal leading to another burial chamber. 

Reeves told the BBC that since coming across the two patched over spots, he has been testing the evidence “looking for indications that what I thought I was seeing was, in fact, not there. But the more I looked, the more information I found that I seemed to be looking at something pretty real.”

Archaeologists have previously pointed out that the layout of King Tut’s tomb is somewhat odd because it is smaller than other kings’ tombs. But if Reeves is right, and Queen Nefertiti's tomb is where he theorizes it is, then the size of King Tut’s tomb would make sense. The boy king’s tomb could just be an addition to an existing burial chamber designed for a queen.

Reeves does admit to The Economist that “each piece of evidence on its own is not conclusive,” but if his dramatic theory is right, then it’s “potentially the biggest archaeological discovery ever made.” Proving he is correct will obviously require further evidence. To obtain this, possible non-invasive tests like a radar scan would confirm whether or not it is the burial site of Nefertiti. For now, it's a waiting game as Egyptian authorities have yet to respond to his claims. 

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