What is the secret behind Tutankhatun
The final secrets of Nefertiti and Tutankhamun
Tutankhamun's burial chamber still keeps its secrets to itself. At a press conference in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings, the Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Anani announced that new radar measurements have not yet provided any physical evidence of the existence of hidden burial chambers. "We can't talk about results yet," said El-Anani, who has been in office for nine days. It would take at least another week to analyze the data. Older investigations would show "some irregularities". Details were not disclosed, however, and further analyzes are necessary.
The night before, technicians sponsored by the National Geographic Society had surveyed Tutankhamun's tomb using radar to complete the existing data sets. The team completed more than 40 scans in ten hours.
Radar readings indicate voids and organic material
The Japanese radar expert Hirokatsu Watanabe had already examined the northern and western walls of the burial chamber in mid-March and last November. His measurements showed that there could be more rooms behind Tutankhamun's final resting place. Accordingly, the left side of the wall appears to be made of solid rock, while the right section could be a partition. His data also indicated a small walk-through door. The experts also announced at the time that there was both "metal" and "organic material" behind the wall. However, this assumption has still not been fully proven and some scholars, such as the former Minister of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, strongly doubt it.
The research was initiated by the British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves. In July he published a spectacular theory: According to this, there is none other than the legendary Queen Nefertiti behind the burial chamber of Tutankhamun. The radar measurements should support his thesis.
According to Reeves, Nefertiti survived her husband Akhenaten, who established a monotheistic cult around the sun god Aton during the 18th dynasty and moved his seat of government from Thebes to Armana. After his death, his wife returned to the old capital, reconciled with the priesthood and continued to rule as Pharaoh under the name of Smenkhkare - according to Reeve's hypothesis. This would not have made Nefertiti the first woman on the pharaoh's throne: A few decades earlier, Queen Hatshepsut had also ruled as pharaoh with male regalia - and with great success.
Did Nefertiti's grave have to be moved?
Reeves suspects that after the sudden death of the young pharaoh, a partition was put in on the north side, his stepmother Nefertiti was reburied there and Tutankhamun was buried in the room discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. The abundance of grave goods - more than 5,000 well-preserved artifacts - made headlines around the world at the time. However, there is a lack of solid evidence for Reeve's theory.
Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Anani has now announced an international conference in Cairo for the coming month, at which all theories about the burial chamber will be presented. "We're not looking for hidden chambers," said El-Anani. "We are looking for reality and truth."
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