A new geophysics survey rules that there is no secret chamber within Tutankhamun's tomb housing Queen Nefertiti's tomb despite a previous study concluding otherwise.
Mostafa Waziri, Egypt's secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced the current finding on Sunday at the ongoing fourth Tutankhamun International Conference.
The new announcement disproved the investigation conducted by Egyptologists and National Geographic grantee Nicholas Reeves three years ago. He suggested at the time that the tomb of 18th Dynasty queen Nefertiti has been hidden inside a secret chamber within or adjacent to Tutankhamun's tomb all this time.
Tutankhamun 'Secret Chamber' Does Not Exist
Waziri said the current study, which was led by Francesco Porcelli of the Polytechnic University of Turin, used ground-penetrating radar to analyze the surroundings of Tutankhamun's tomb.
Based on his GPR analysis, Porcelli ruled that there is no marking suggesting that the natural rocks of the tombs were slashed to make way for man-made walls. Furthermore, the GPR readings revealed that there are no jambs or lintel of a doorway to a supposed secret grave.
The radar scan also showed that there are no plane reflectors that could hint about chamber walls or hollowed sections behind the paintings on Tutankhamun's tomb.
"It is concluded, with a very high degree of confidence, that the hypothesis concerning the existence of hidden chambers or corridors adjacent to Tutankhamun's tomb is not supported by the GPR data," Porcelli said.
Porcelli conducted the analysis with a team of experts from two geophysics companies, namely Geostudi Astier and 3DGeoimaging. The two companies obtained the data from within Tutankhamun's tomb in February 2018.
Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities mentioned that two previous scans from Japanese and American scientists were open to doubt, asserting that analysis done by Porcelli and his team closed the lid surrounding theories of that Queen Nefertiti's crypt would be found inside.
The matter was put in the spotlight again as the ministry headed the transfer of King Tutankhamun's belongings to a new museum outside Cairo, near the Giza Pyramids.
Queen Nefertiti Mystery
The location of Queen Nefertiti's tomb has become the longest continuing historical mystery in Egypt, particularly because if her tomb is found, it could drastically alter Middle Eastern history. Until her tomb is found, Egyptologists would remain baffled about the precise royal succession that took place during her time.
Queen Nefertiti was married to King Akhenaten who brought radical changes during his reign including worshipping only one god named Aten. Tutankhamun is Akhenaten's son but it has yet to be ruled by historians whether he was also the son of Nefertiti.
However, when Akhenaten died, Tutankhamun did not immediately inherit the throne. Instead, a shadowy figure known as Smenkhkare ruled for about two years.
History has revealed so little about Smenkhkare that experts continue to suspect that he was Queen Nefertiti who assumed an entirely male persona in order to rule after her husband's death.