Sunday 22 January 2017

Egypt's lost Queen Nefertiti may lie concealed behind King Tut's tomb

Published 01/10/2015 | 17:10

A 3,000 year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti, discovered in 1912 Credit: Neues Museum
A 3,000 year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti, discovered in 1912 Credit: Neues Museum

Egypt's authorities have promised swift action following claims that the lost tomb of Queen Nefertiti's could be in a hidden chamber behind Tutankhamun.

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The theory, presented by British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, speculates that King Tut, who died at the age of 19, may have been rushed into an outer chamber of what was originally Nefertiti's tomb.

Since the 1922 discovery of King Tut's 3,300-year-old pharaonic mausoleum in the Valley of the Kings near the city of Luxor, his tomb has become the focus of attention for archaeologists worldwide - and one of Egypt's prime tourist draws.

Antiquities minister Mamdouh el-Damaty says the radar equipment could be obtained and be at the site within three months, or perhaps as early as November, for the 93rd anniversary of the discovery of Tut's tomb.

He told reporters in Cairo that plans are being finalised and he believes the radar equipment "will confirm whether there's something" there.

Queen Nefertiti disappeared without a trace 3,000 years ago.  

Egypt's Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty promised on Thursday he would move quickly to get new radar equipment needed to search for Queen Nefertiti's tomb Credit: Nariman El-Mofty
Egypt's Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty promised on Thursday he would move quickly to get new radar equipment needed to search for Queen Nefertiti's tomb Credit: Nariman El-Mofty

It is believed she ruled Egypt alongside her husband Amenhotep IV for 12 years before she vanished without a trace.

Some Egyptologists believe she became co-regent under a new name, while others believe she may have died.

Her not-so-modest name means "a beautiful woman has come."

Archaeologists are yet to find the tomb of Queen Nefertiti since her bust was discovered in 1912, now on display at the Neues Museum in Berlin.

Mr Reeves believes the walls of King Tut's tomb could conceal two unexplored doorways, one of which could lead to Nefertiti's tomb.

His theory has reinvigorated the search for Nefertiti, who was also the primary wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten, widely believed to have been Tut's father.

Mr Reeves also speculates that, if he is right, the hidden chamber could hold undiscovered artefacts.

Mr el-Damaty told reporters in Cairo that a plan would be presented "immediately" for non-invasive radar equipment.

Press Association

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