Emil Diephuis examines the potentially history-changing research of British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves whose convincing theory, backed up with real facts, could lead to the elusive discovery of Queen Nefertiti's tomb.
The discovery of the treasure of king Tutankhamun is unmatched by anything in history because it is the only undisturbed royal tomb found… until now. The tombs of all the great Pharaohs of Egypt were looted, perhaps except for one: the iconic Nefertiti – and we might have just located her royal resting place. It is somewhere no one thought to look, somewhere hundreds of people visit every day…
Tutankhamen was still a boy when he died and was hastily buried in a small insignificant tomb in the Valley of the Kings. He was soon to be forgotten by everyone including grave robbers, until the tombs discovery by Howard Carter in 1922.
After examining his treasures, some Egyptologists argued that up to 90% of the equipment found in the tomb were probably meant for his stepmother, Nefertiti. A small portion of the treasures were leftovers from his father, Akhenaton's burial, were reassigned to him following premature death, as there was not enough time for his own funerary items to be commissioned.
Nefertiti’s treasures were probably just collecting dust somewhere in palace storage, as it is hypothesised that she was buried with more elaborate funerary treasure, fit for the true full-fledged queen that she is thought to have been, after she succeeded her husband Akhenaton on the throne.
So far, Nefertiti’s tomb has so far eluded discovery, but that all could change soon, according to famous British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves who recently examined the high-resolution 3D scans made of the walls of the tomb of Tutankhamun and came to a shocking conclusion.
Without the colourful painted figures and hieroglyphs blocking the view, he stumbled upon very distinct linear traces of two doorways beneath the plastered surfaces of the painted scenes.
One of these doorways seems to lead to a still unexplored storage room with more treasures for Tutankhamun. More shocking, however, is a second doorway that seems to lead to an unruffled, much larger tomb, possibly containing the undisturbed burial of the original tomb owner, Nefertiti.
So how did Reeves come to this conclusion?
The architecture of the tomb of King Tutankhamen has always puzzled Egyptologists. It is very different in design from other tombs in the Valley of the Kings. However, when you include the new passage leading to another tomb it all starts to make sense. Secret passageways behind the plastered murals are not uncommon. There are other royal tombs, such as that of King Horemheb, that have secret passageways behind the plastered walls. But why would Nefertiti be behind it?
Reeves did not only find traces of doorways, he also found that some parts of the murals were partly repainted. The figure that is supposed to be Tutankhamen (his name is written besides it) has features that are only seen in images and statues of his stepmother Nefertiti.
So, according to Reeves, when Tutankhamen unexpectedly died at a young age, his successor quickly opened up the Tomb of Nefertiti, remodelled the entrance passage to create a burial chamber, repainted some scenes, refurbished Nefertiti’s unused treasure, buried the boy-king and sealed the tomb.
The evidence seems pretty convincing. Are we soon to find the golden mask of a queen that fascinated us for centuries? Will the treasure be so elaborate that it will even put Tutankhamun’s in the shade?
If true, we have a new symbol of Egypt and soon might have to repress the Egyptian pound coin with the mask of Nefertiti…