Are we on the brink of the greatest Egyptian archaeological find of the century?
After two days of radar scans, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has announced the discovery of hidden chambers behind the walls of King Tutankhamun’s ancient tomb.
Preliminary results reveal evidence of unopened sections lying behind two hidden doorways in the pharaoh’s burial chamber, one in the north wall and another in the adjoining west wall.
"We said earlier there was a 60 percent chance there is something behind the walls. But now after the initial reading of the scans, we are saying it's 90 percent likely there is something behind the walls," says Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty.
The results strengthen the theory of Nicholas Reeves, a British archaeologist and National Geographic grantee, who believes the tomb may house the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti.
Earlier this year, Reeves published a paper in which he claimed that the tomb of Tutankhamun includes two doorways that were plastered and painted over.
These doorways could suggest that the tomb was originally built for Nefertiti, the mother-in-law of Tutankhamun, who is believed to have ruled as a female pharaoh during Egypt's 18th dynasty.
“The tomb is not giving up its secrets easily,” Reeves told National Geographic. “But it is giving them up, bit by bit. It’s another result. And nothing is contradicting the basic direction of the theory.”
The mystery of Nefertiti’s final resting place has long tantalised archaeologists. After reigning for 12 years, she appears to have simply vanished. Some Egyptologists say she died while others believe she became co-regent under a new name.
Reeves is among the latter, theorising that Nefertiti outlived her husband, became Pharaoh and changed her name to Smenkhkare.
[Image: National Geographic Channels]
Evidence from the radar imaging is being sent to a Japanese team for analysis. Results are expected to be announced in a month.
Entering the hidden rooms would represent the biggest challenge of the project because one of the proposed doorways is covered by a priceless wall painting.
The ongoing investigation – supported, in part, by the National Geographic Society – is being documented for an upcoming National Geographic Channel special to premiere in 2016.