Date
28 March 2017
Visitors view Queen Nefertiti's bust in a Berlin museum.  The discovery of her final resting place is drawing renewed interst in one of ancient Egypt's most mysterious figures. Photo: Internet
Visitors view Queen Nefertiti's bust in a Berlin museum. The discovery of her final resting place is drawing renewed interst in one of ancient Egypt's most mysterious figures. Photo: Internet

Queen Nefertiti’s long-lost burial site stokes fresh interest

Egypt’s Queen Nefertiti has historians and archaeologists excited again 700 years after her death with the discovery of her long-lost burial site.

The secret chamber lies behind the tomb of King Tutankhamun, Reuters reports, citing Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty.

He said the find is further evidence of the exact location of Nefertiti’s resting place.

There has been huge archaeological interest in Nefertiti, who died in the 14th century B.C., because she believed to be the stepmother of the boy king, thought to be the most famous pharaoh of ancient Egypt.

An analysis of radar scans done on the site in November has revealed the presence of two empty spaces behind two walls in King Tut’s chamber, Eldamaty told a news conference.

“[The scans point to] different things behind the walls, different material that could be metal, could be organic,” he said.

He said there is a 90 percent chance that “something” was behind the walls of King Tut’s chamber following an initial radar scan that had been sent to Japan for analysis.

A more advanced scan will be conducted at the end of this month with an international research team to confirm whether the empty spaces are in fact chambers.

Only then, Eldamaty said, can he discuss the possibility of how and when a team could enter the rooms.

“We can say more than 90 percent that the chambers are there. But I never start the next step until I’m 100 percent.”

The find, hailed as the “most important archaeological discovery of the century”, could be a boon for Egypt’s ailing tourism industry, which has suffered endless setbacks since an uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011 but remains a vital source of foreign currency.

British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, who is leading the investigation, believes that Tutankhamun’s musoleum was originally occupied by Nefertiti and that she lies undisturbed behind what he believes is a partition wall.

The discovery of Nefertiti, whose chiseled cheek-bones and regal beauty were immortalized in a 3,300-year old bust now on display in a Berlin museum, would shed fresh light on what remains a mysterious period of Egyptian history.

“It can be the discovery of the century. It’s very important for Egyptian history and the history of the world,” said Eldamaty.

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CG/RA

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