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calendar   Wednesday - August 12, 2015

Is It Grant Proposal Time Again Already?

Secret Tomb of Nefertiti Found At Last?

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Nefertiti, the original babe



This story is all over the online news to a greater or lesser extent. Like those famous Russian nesting dolls, called matryoshka, the latest theory based on ultra-high resolution topographic photography, is that her tomb lies hidden inside Tut’s tomb. A few nearly invisible lines in the plaster on the walls may be hiding secret doorways, and his being buried there (she may have been his mother??) explains why this one pharaoh was entombed in a shrine merely good enough for a queen. Basically, they just tossed him in the ante-room with a pile of stuff and a few buckets of beer and said good enough.

The answer to one of Egyptology’s most enduring mysteries may have been lying in plain view the whole time, an archaeologist has claimed.

According to new research, the long-sought final resting place of Egypt’s Queen Nefertiti may lie beyond two hidden doorways inside the tomb of King Tutankhamun.

The discovery was made by Nicholas Reeves, an English archaeologist at the University of Arizona, after poring over high-resolution digital scans of the walls of Tutankhamun’s grave complex in the Valley of the Kings.

In a research paper published online, Dr Reeves claims to have found a bricked-up and hitherto unnoticed portal leading out of the celebrated king’s burial chamber.

“The implications are extraordinary, if digital appearance translates into physical reality,” he wrote. “Within these uncharted depths an earlier royal interment – that of Nefertiti herself.”

Archaeologists have long searched for the lost burial place of the slender-necked queen, who was the chief consort of the pharaoh Akhenaten in the 14th Century BC. The apparent gravity of the new research underscores the role that modern technology can play in bringing new discoveries to light.

In the research paper, Dr Reeves praises the work of Factum Arte, the Madrid-based group whose open source mapping of the site made the discovery of Nefertiti’s apparent “ghosts” possible.

“Conservators anywhere in the world are now able with ease to scrutinise and consider the paintings: every crack, blemish, and technical feature,” he wrote.

Naysayers poo-poo this theory because, as Akhenaten’s queen (Amenhotep IV, “the abomination” who invented monotheism and nearly caused a civil war by tossing out all the other gods) she lived in his new capital city of Amarna, and thus was cut off from Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. But her face and name have been found on stelae and grave inscriptions all over this very Egypt.

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Alas, the mystery is likely to continue for a good while yet. The sensitivity of the site and its cramped conditions make examining the tomb in situ especially challenging.

“I think by using modern seismic X-ray technology it should be possible to look through the walls and see if there are significant anomalies or indeed gaps in the bedrock behind those walls,” says Wilkinson.

“That sort of ground penetration radar is well developed. It’s been used in the Valley of the Kings and other places in Egypt,” he says.

Even if this portal is found to exist and leads to a hidden chamber inside Tut’s tomb, Wilkinson maintains such a discovery would lead to an even longer debate about how best to excavate the site without causing damage to the existing monument.

“We may get to the point within a few years of knowing whether there is a chamber behind (those walls), but I think it will be quite a while before we can peek inside any chamber that might be there,” he says.

“But it’s very tantalizing and it would be nice to think that in a few years’ time we might have the final answer.”




Tutankamun’s tomb is no longer open to the public because all the visitors and their moist breath were aging the frescoes. Instead, a tremendously accurate facsimile tomb has been built nearby for visitors. In size, shape, depth, condition, and detail it is accurate to the very millimeter, scratch, and paint shade.  Even the story of making the fake one is pretty interesting, so here’s a link to it.

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Keep this picture in mind when you click over to the super high resolution photographs that were the cause of this ruckus. The display tool takes a minute to figure out, but by clicking at the grey edges when not in super zoom mode it will switch between the artwork around Tut’s sarcophagus and the 3-D topography of the plastered wall beneath the paintings. See if you can find your own hidden doorways and secret bits. This is a fantastic link. I really encourage you to click and have a visit. Click on the main sign (#62) to get things started, then click again to access the controls.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/12/2015 at 05:09 PM   
Filed Under: • Archeology / AnthropologyUK •  
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