Secret passages in Tutankhamun’s tomb may lead to Nefertiti

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Secret passages in Tutankhamun’s tomb may lead to Nefertiti

Postby Borgholio » 2015-08-12 12:50pm

http://archaeology.org/news/3589-150811-nefertiti-queen-tomb

TUSCON, ARIZONA—Nicholas Reeves, currently at the University of Arizona, was examining ultra-high resolution images of Tutankhamun’s tomb when he noticed fissures and cracks in two places on its walls. He suggests that the cracks reveal the presence of two passages that were blocked and then plastered and painted over. Reeves thinks that one of the passages probably leads to a storeroom, while the other, which aligns with both sides of the tomb’s entrance chamber, may open to a corridor and a queen’s burial chamber. As he told The Economist, such an arrangement is typical of tombs built for Egyptian queens. Reeves adds that Tutankhamun’s tomb is smaller than other kings’ tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and it seemed to have been put together in a hurry. Could this tomb have been intended for Nefertiti, Tutankhamun’s stepmother? Radar scans could reveal hidden rooms if they exist. “Each piece of evidence on its own is not conclusive, but put it all together and it’s hard to avoid my conclusion. If I’m wrong I’m wrong, but if I’m right this is potentially the biggest archaeological discovery ever made,” he said.


Hopefully these cracks in the walls are actually sealed passages instead of...well...just cracks. This would be an amazing discovery if true.
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Re: Secret passages in Tutankhamun’s tomb may lead to Nefert

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-08-12 12:55pm

The downside is that the tomb is one of the best known and most visited tourist sites in the Valley of the Kings, and busting holes in the walls won't be taken lightly. This seems to be mostly 'I think we got something' being blown up into a news story, and assuming that it's for Nefertiti is rather a leap.
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Re: Secret passages in Tutankhamun’s tomb may lead to Nefert

Postby Borgholio » 2015-08-12 01:02pm

Yeah I imagine that if the radar survey shows something of interest, they'll do the pinhole-camera routine to verify. I doubt they'll actually cut a hole in the wall unless they find something exceptional...in which case they'll have to be very very careful.
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Re: Secret passages in Tutankhamun’s tomb may lead to Nefert

Postby Thanas » 2015-08-12 01:05pm

I am quite skeptical about this.

First, the tomb has been excavated and researched for close to a century. And nobody noticed that some stuff was plastered over? Second, these kind of theories pop up all the time with regards to Egyptian tombs and rarely amount to nothing. They serve as quick attention grabbers to get funding. One only has the remember the great Cheops pyramid shenanigans that went on over the last five years that amounted to nothing.

That said, Reeves does have some credit in the field and that is the only reason I consider this to be a possibility. However, it does not look like he actually went and investigated it in situ yet. And the bigger question remains - if indeed Nefertiti is buried there, why was she not given her own tomb considering she may have reigned as pharaoh herself?
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Re: Secret passages in Tutankhamun’s tomb may lead to Nefert

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-08-12 01:19pm

It's more likely that, terrain permitting, they may shore up the Tutankhamen tomb and dig a hole in the right location. Better to make a hole and possibly find nothing, than to start knocking down walls with the attendant issues of preservation. An exploratory hole is cheaper than preservation, even in the Valley of the Kings.
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Re: Secret passages in Tutankhamun’s tomb may lead to Nefert

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-08-13 09:39pm

We do have precedence for a shared tomb; Ramses II had several of his children buried in smaller tombs within his tomb. With Tut dying so young, and the burial so quick, why not reuse his mother's tomb? Especially since the next Pharoahs were trying to destroy all memory of Akenaten and his family, because they started the Aten Cult, which left the priests of Amun powerless.
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Re: Secret passages in Tutankhamun’s tomb may lead to Nefert

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-08-17 01:24pm

LadyTevar wrote:We do have precedence for a shared tomb; Ramses II had several of his children buried in smaller tombs within his tomb. With Tut dying so young, and the burial so quick, why not reuse his mother's tomb? Especially since the next Pharoahs were trying to destroy all memory of Akenaten and his family, because they started the Aten Cult, which left the priests of Amun powerless.


Bearing in mind that it's been quite a long time since I read much Egyptian archaeology stuff--

My understanding was that Tutankhamen's tomb was more likely a rapidly refurbished tomb that had actually been intended for one of the high nobles in his court, hence its smaller size. It's uncertain whether Nefertiti was his mother or not. Recently a mummy found years ago was discovered via DNA testing to most likely be Tutankhamen's mother, but as her body was found in a cache and had been looted by tomb-robbers, the actual identity is unknown. But by logical deduction:

--If she is Nefertiti, and she was in fact buried in a chamber adjoining Tutankhamen's tomb:

--Odds are that the robbers who took the body would not have scrupled to break down the wall connecting the two tombs, unless it was carefully disguised.

--And Tutankhamen's tomb being in a largely un-despoiled state suggests that this did not in fact happen.

So odds are that Tutankhamen's mother was not buried in the adjoining chamber. If Nefertiti is in there, then that mummy is obviously not her.

Wiki article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Young ... 28mummy%29
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Re: Secret passages in Tutankhamun’s tomb may lead to Nefert

Postby LaCroix » 2015-08-18 04:36am

I do think DNA testings are pretty much at the boundaries of their abilites with regards to Egyptian dynasties. Their family tree resembles one of these modern fancy bushes that has three stems braided together for 6 feet height. This kind of intermarriage pattern is bound to give a lot of false positives and data that can only be speculated upon.

Still, the yound lady being Nefertiti is much more likely thatn a hidden tomb.
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Re: Secret passages in Tutankhamun’s tomb may lead to Nefert

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-08-18 10:27am

IMO, if there *is* a hidden chamber, it's more likely to simply be a rough chamber that was walled off for convenience. Ancient Egyptian equivalent of "Joe, you wanna fill up that extra room over there?" "Nah, we don't have enough gold jars, just stick a wall up and let's paint over it".

Alternatively, if Tutankhamen's tomb was indeed one 'donated' to the purpose by Horemheb or Ay (the most likely candidates IIRC) it's vaguely possible the chamber (again, if there is one) contains a wife that pre-deceased the noble. A significant discovery in its own right, certainly. Just not as impressive.
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Re: Secret passages in Tutankhamun’s tomb may lead to Nefert

Postby Borgholio » 2015-09-29 11:14am

Update - looks to be very promising. Other archaeologists have examined the tomb and they agree it's very likely at least two hidden passages or rooms exist.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/150928-king-tut-tomb-door-nefertiti-archaeology-egypt/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_fb20150928news-kingtut&utm_campaign=Content&sf13597897=1
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Re: Secret passages in Tutankhamun’s tomb may lead to Nefertiti

Postby Borgholio » 2015-11-28 03:45pm

Another update. Radar survey of the tomb seems to confirm that there are indeed hidden rooms.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/28/egypt-90-sure-there-are-hidden-chambers-in-king-tuts-tomb?CMP=fb_gu


Egypt has said there is a 90% chance that hidden chambers will be found within King Tutankhamun’s tomb, based on the preliminary results of a new exploration of the 3,300-year-old mausoleum.

Researchers say the discovery of a new chamber could shine fresh light on one of ancient Egypt’s most turbulent times, and one prominent researcher has theorised that the remains of Queen Nefertiti might be inside.

Egypt began the search for the hidden chamber last week. Announcing the results of three days of testing in the southern city of Luxor, the antiquities minister, Mamdouh el-Damati, said the findings would be sent to Japan for a month-long analysis before the search is resumed.

Luxor, in southern Egypt, served as the pharaonic capital in ancient times, and is home to sprawling temples and several ancient tombs.

British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves theorises that Tutankhamun, who died at the age of 19, may have been rushed into an outer chamber of what was originally Nefertiti’s tomb.

Reeves reached his theory after high-resolution images discovered what he said were straight lines in King Tut’s tomb. These lines, previously hidden by colour and the stones’ texture, indicate the presence of a sealed chamber, he said. The images were later broadcast live on national television last September.

Nefertiti was the first wife of Akhenaten, who unsuccessfully attempted to switch Egypt to an early form of monotheism. Akhenaten was succeeded by a pharaoh referred to as Smenkhare and then Tut, who is widely believed to have been Akhenaten’s son.

Tut, Nefertiti and Akhenaten’s family ruled Egypt during one of its most turbulent periods, which ended with a military takeover by Egypt’s top general , Horemheb. The whole family’s names were wiped out from official records later on. Reeves believes that Smenkhare is actually Nefertiti.

This is the second find to be announced this week. On Tuesday, Damati said the Austrian Archaeological Institute had discovered a giant fence dating back more than 3,500 years at the site of another ancient capital city, Avaris. The sandstone fence is least 500 metres long and seven metres thick.
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