Scientists are optimistic and think the mystery of Nefertiti’s tomb may soon be solved.
Egypt is a land where archaeologists regularly find ancient treasures, but the location of her tomb has so far remained an unsolved ancient mystery. However, the discovery of mysterious, hidden hieroglyphs within Tutankhamun’s tomb may point to the location of the Egyptian Queen’s burial place.
Researchers think her tomb can be found in a hidden chamber inside her stepson Tutankhamun’s burial chamber, a world-renowned British Egyptologist has said.
As reported on AncientPages.com, in 2015, the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry granted preliminary approval for using a non-invasive radar to verify a theory that Queen Nefertiti’s crypt may be hidden behind King Tutankhamun’s 3,300-year-old tomb in the famous Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered Tut’s tomb in Luxor’s Valley of the Kings in 1922 — intact and packed with antiquities, including Tut’s world-famous golden mask. At the time, no one contemplated the possibility something of great value may be hidden behind the tomb’s walls.
Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, a former curator in the British Museum’s Department of Egyptian Antiquities, published a paper titled “The Burial of Queen Nefertiti? with a set of high-resolution images believed to reveal the location of hidden doors within the tomb of Tutankhamun. The study Revees presented included lines underneath plastered surfaces of painted walls, showing there could be two unexplored doorways, one of which could potentially lead to Nefertiti’s tomb. He also argues that the design of King Tut’s tomb suggests it was built for a Queen rather than a king.
Queen Nefertiti was the most powerful woman of her time and one of ancient Egypt’s most mysterious historical people.
There is still much we don’t know about her and her sudden disappearance after being elevated to near-equal status by King Akhenaten.
Some think she was the daughter of Ay, brother to Queen Tiye, and wife of Amunhotep III. Some think she may have been a foreign princess, perhaps Tadukhipa of Mitanni. It has also been suggested Nefertiti was Smenkare. As discussed earlier on AncientPages.com, “Smenkare appeared from nowhere, taking the place of Nefertiti at the end of Akhenaten’s rule and ruling for about three years afterward.
In 2020, the results of the ground-penetrating radar (GPR) study were published, and scientists stated there are hidden chambers behind the tomb’s walls. Researchers led by archaeologist Mamdouh Eldamaty, a former Egyptian minister of antiquities, reported they had identified a previously unknown corridor-like space a few meters from the burial chamber belonging to Pharaoh Tutankhamun.
Ray Johnson, an Egyptologist at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute in Luxor, Egypt, who wasn’t involved in the study, said this discovery is “tremendously exciting”. “Clearly, there is something on the other side of the north wall of the burial chamber,” he added.
As reported previously, the Egyptologist and former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass has spent many years searching for the mummy of Nefertiti and her burial. In a recent interview, Hawass said he would soon unravel the mystery of Queen Nefertiti to the public. He is confident he will be able to reveal the discovery of Queen Nefertiti’s mummy in October or November.
In an interview with the Guardian, Reeves explained that “cartouches depicting Tutankhamun being buried by his Pharaonic successor, Ay, had been painted over cartouches of Tutankhamun burying Nefertiti, the legendary beauty, Queen of Egypt and wife of King Akhenaten.”
“I can now show that, under the cartouches of Ay, are cartouches of Tutankhamun himself, proving that that scene originally showed Tutankhamun burying his predecessor, Nefertiti,” Reeves told the Guardian. “You would not have had that decoration in the tomb of Tutankhamun.”
“Close inspection of Ay’s cartouches reveals clear, underlying traces of an earlier name – that of Tutankhamun. In its original version, this scene had shown Tutankhamun performing the funerary ritual for the tomb’s original owner, his immediate predecessor… Nefertiti.”
He added: “This conclusion finds absolute confirmation in the figures’ facial profiles – the snub nose and chubby under-chin of the [figure] currently labeled as Ay follow … precisely the standardized facial outline adopted for official representations of Tutankhamun at the very start of his kingship. The face of the mummy carries the indisputable features of Nefertiti. Demonstrably, the scene had begun its life as a record of Tutankhamun officiating at the burial of his predecessor.”
Archaeologists and Egyptologists are naturally excited because these mysterious hieroglyphs, along with the radar scans, may eventually lead to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in the history of Egypt. Finding the tomb of Queen Nefertiti would make news worldwide.
“The evidence that we have so far does suggest that there is a man-made structure forming the north wall and the east wall of the Treasury. The east wall of the Treasury is probably a natural stone that appears to have been cut or formed as a wall. There is evidence of man-made structure, although that did not seem sufficiently conclusive to some people. This is always the problem in science.
But if there is a structure, that means somebody built it, and you don’t build things in the Valley of the Kings without an intention,” George Ballard, a leading specialist in radar and geophysical investigations of buildings and structures, said.