Hidden Rooms Found in King Tut's Tomb
Nefertiti may lie within, expert believes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 17, 2016 5:02 AM CDT
Updated Mar 17, 2016 6:33 AM CDT
The gold mask of King Tutankhamun is displayed in its glass case in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.   (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – King Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered in 1922, and nearly 100 years later, it may be giving up a millennia-old secret: Analysis of radar scans of his burial chamber carried out in November have revealed two hidden rooms, Egypt's antiquities minister Mamdouh El-Damaty announced in a Thursday news conference. Further, the scans indicate the presence of metal and organic materials. A new scan will take place on March 31, NBC News reports, with CNN explaining that the subsequent test will reveal the dimensions of the rooms and the thickness of the walls, which will allow Egypt to plan a way forward. British archaeologist Nicolas Reeves in August theorized that the remains of Queen Nefertiti might be inside, and National Geographic fills in the timeline:

Egypt allowed Reeves and radar expert Hirokatsu Watanabe to scan Tut's tomb over two nights in November; the scans did suggest the presence of a chamber on the north side, with El-Damaty saying at the time he was 90% certain of the existence of one room. But Watanabe had not completed a full analysis of the scans then. Now he has, hence El-Damaty's Thursday announcement and the revelation of a chamber on the west wall as well. CNN explains that the size of Tut's tomb seems inappropriately small considering his importance, with Reeves suggesting the king was placed in a hastily constructed extension of a tomb intended for a queen upon his death at 17. The AP reports El-Damaty thinks the new chambers could contain a royal tomb, but he wouldn't speculate on Nefertiti—who was one of the wives of Tut's father but is not believed to be Tut's mother. Read more on Reeves' theory here.