After inspecting Tutanhamun’s tomb, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty announced on Monday that the tomb’s northern and western walls both hide chambers.
Examinations were carried out by Eldamaty and British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves (University of Arizona), who earlier this year published a paper, claiming that:
“Recently published, high-resolution scans of the walls of room J (the Burial Chamber) of Valley of the Kings tomb KV62 (Tutankhamun) reveal, beneath the plastered surfaces of the painted scenes, distinct linear traces. These are here mapped, discussed, and tentatively identified as the “ghosts” of two hitherto unrecognized doorways. It is argued that these doorways give access to: (1) a still unexplored storage chamber on the west of room J, seemingly contemporary with the stocking of Tutankhamun’s burial; and (2) a pre-Tutankhamun continuation of KV62 towards the north, containing the undisturbed burial of the tomb’s original owner ‒ Nefertiti.” (N. Reeves, “The Burial of Nefertiti“, Amarna Royal Tombs Project – Valley of the Kings, Occasional Paper No. 1)
According to Reeves, the tomb’s ceiling extends behind the two walls, thus he is almost convinced his theory about the two chambers is correct. “After our first examination of the walls we can do nothing more until we receive the all-clear from the radar device to confirm the our findings,” Reeves told Ahram Online.
Reeves interprets the northern wall’s painting as a death ritual scene, namely a ritual the boy king, Tutankhamun, is completing for queen Nefertiti. Other scholars believe the painting shows King Ay (Tutankhamun’s successor) performing a ritual for Tutankhamun.
Now, a radar will be used to examine the wall paintings in the tombs of Ay and Tutankhamun, so that Reeve’s theory can be confirmed or rejected. However, Reeves expressed his enthusiasm about some new photos, on which he could discover features not present in the digital images he had been using before. The new photos were taken by art organization Factume in order to reconstruct a replica tomb of Tutankhamun. According to Reeves, on these images they found the extended ceiling, the traces of two doorways and royal stamps. “I am pretty sure that a very important discovery is to be made soon inside Tutankahmn’s tomb,” Reeves concluded.
Eldamaty also believes there are hidden chambers behind these walls but doubts that the chambers could house queen Nefertiti’s crypt. According to Eldamaty, Nefertiti will have been buried in Tel Al-Amaran.
“I am very enthusiastic about this work and I’m sure something is going to be discovered behind those two controversial walls,” Eldamaty said.