An Egyptian Mystery Takes New Turn

Team suggests anew that long-lost Queen Nefertiti is secretly buried in Tut's tomb
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2020 8:30 AM CST
Updated Feb 23, 2020 6:42 AM CST
An Egyptian Mystery Takes New Turn
In this 2009 photo, a 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti is seen at the New Museum in Berlin.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

Scientists in Egypt are bound and determined to find the long-lost Queen Nefertiti. Now, a new team is floating the possibility that she is buried in a secret chamber within King Tut's tomb, reports Nature. Sound familiar? That's because the intriguing possibility was first raised in 2015, only to be seemingly put to rest by a thorough radar scan in 2018. The new twist comes from a team led by former Egyptian minister of antiquities, Mamdouh Eldmaty. Using ground-penetrating radar of their own, he and his researchers scanned the area around Tut's burial spot and detected what they say is a previously unknown chamber, which Business Insider describes as 7 feet high and 33 feet long. Their report has not been formally published, but Nature obtained details that were sent to Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

So what now? The council will presumably decide whether to move forward with a more thorough investigation. "Clearly there is something on the other side of the north wall of the burial chamber," Egyptologist Ray Johnson of the University of Chicago tells Nature. Johnson, who was not involved with the new study, called the results "tremendously exciting." The story, though, is also tempered with a not-so-fast sentiment from skeptics. Nefertiti, whose daughter married Tut, was an Egyptian queen, though some historians think she also ruled as a pharaoh herself for a spell before her death. Artnet News, perhaps excited by the idea of what the burial place may hold, is highlighting this quote: “If Nefertiti was buried as a pharaoh, it could be the biggest archaeological discovery ever,” says British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves, whose team was behind the 2015 study. (More Nefertiti stories.)

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