It's been almost a century since King Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered — and it's still enlightening us on the life and death of ancient Egyptian royalty. Most recently, the tomb may have provided clues as to where Queen Nefertititi's final resting place could be found.
According to a report by archaeologist Dr. Nicholas Reeves, a high-resolution scan of King Tut's tomb in the Valley of the Kings has revealed two secret entrances — one of which is believed to lead up to a storage room and the other, to the resting place of Queen Nefertiti.
The identity of Tutankhamun's mother is still unknown, but previous DNA results suggest that it may have been the Younger Lady, who is also thought to be the sister of his father, King Akhenaten. Many experts however believe it to be Nefertiti, the wife of Akhenaten. Nefertiti and Akhenaten had six children, but the remains of the queen and her children have not been found.
If Reeves is correct, the discovery could eclipse all other findings from Tutankhamun's burial chamber to date.
Of the two secret openings that showed up in the scans, Reeves believes that the one to the right of the entrance shaft will lead to Nefertiti's tomb, because the positioning is typical of burial chambers for queens. The small size of Tutankhamun's tomb has baffled researchers, given his eminence. However, if the queen's tomb is indeed where Reeves projected it will be, the boy-king's tomb size would make sense, as it would appear to be simply an addition to an existing burial chamber.
"Each piece of evidence on its own is not conclusive, but put it all together and it's hard to avoid my conclusion," said Reeves, who is based at the University of Arizona. He added that if he is wrong, he is wrong — but if he's right, the discovery has the potential to be the biggest ever made in archaeological history.
During her husband's reign, Queen Nefertiti was said to have enjoyed influence comparable to the pharaoh. It is unknown how she died, but one of the theories is that she succumbed to a sudden plague in the year 1340 BC.
Photo: Zaldy Camerino | Flickr