Queen Neferrtiti

Scans show possible tomb of Queen Nefertiti

A project to search for the resting place of the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti has revealed possible "organic material" inside empty spaces behind two walls in the tomb of Tutankhamun. His tomb was discovered in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter.

Radar scans carried out by the Japanese pointed to anomalies behind the walls. A more advanced 3 -D scan will be conducted this month to ascertain whether the empty spaces are in fact chambers.

Announcing the results of the scans, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said they had indicated the presence of spaces behind two walls of the burial chamber. "We can say with more than 90% certainty that the chambers are there. But I never start the next step until I'm 100% sure. For Egypt it is a very big discovery that could be discovery of the century. It is very important for the Egyptian history and for all the world."

The British egyptologist Dr Nicholas Reeves believes the remains of Tutankhamun, who died 3 000 years ago aged 19, may have been rushed into an outer chamber of what was originally Nefertiti's tomb. He believes that Nefertiti may have been buried there too after examining scans of the tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Tutankhamun's tomb was the most intact ever discovered in Egypt with nearly 2 000 artefacts being found inside. But its layout has been a puzzle for some time - in particular, why it was smaller than those of other pharaohs' tombs? Dr Reeves believes there are clues in the design of the tomb that indicate it was intended to store the remains of a queen.

Nefertiti was queen of Egypt and wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten during the 14th century BC. She and her husband established the cult of Aten, the sun god, and promoted a new style of Egyptian artwork. It is thought the couple married when Nefertiti was about 15 and had six daughters and a son. Some theories hold that Nefertiti was the mother of King Tutankhamun.

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