Scientists from the University of Turin have brought an end to years of excited speculation about the possible existence of a secret chamber behind Tutankhamun’s tomb.
The theory first arose in 2015 when British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves analysed some high definition laser scans of King Tut’s burial chamber and discovered linear markings that looked like doorways hidden doors beneath the plaster.
Despite being one of the most recognisable faces of ancient Egypt, the tomb of Queen Nefertiti – believed to be King Tut’s mother – has never been found. Could this, he proposed, be it?
Further speculation was fueled by the layout of Tutankhamun’s tomb, with some saying that it might originally have been intended for a woman, as his burial chamber is positioned to the right of a passageway (during the 18th dynasty, a left turn is more commonly associated with entry into a male tomb, and right with a female tomb, as the left was a symbol of masculinity in ancient Egypt). Later, Japanese and American scientists carried out further scans, which proved inconclusive.
Now, Dr Francesco Porcelli from the University of Turin has presented results from what has been called the most extensive radar survey of the site to date at the fourth International Tutankhamun Conference in Cairo.
These ground-penetrating radar scans conclude that there is no secret chamber beyond the tomb, and seem to be a final nail in the coffin for the theory.
For those who finally hoped the tomb of Nefertiti had been found, Porcelli said “It is maybe a little bit disappointing that there is nothing behind the walls of Tutankhamun’s tomb, but I think on the other hand that this is good science.”
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