Saturday, 27 February 2016

Tutankhamun: Hidden chambers inside tomb could hold treasure

Secret chambers discovered inside the tomb of ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun may be hiding a treasure trove, Egypt's Tourism Minister, Hisham Zaazou, has claimed. He said that Egypt will make a formal announcement about the contents of the chambers in April.

British archaeologist Dr Nicolas Reeves had hinted at the presence of a secret passageway within the tomb of Tutankhamun or King Tut, in August 2015.

In November Egypt's antiquities ministry declared that there could be many hidden chambers inside the tomb.

Infrared thermography showed differences in the temperatures registered on different parts of the northern wall of the tomb. Reeves speculated that the tomb of King Tut was not ready when he died unexpectedly at 19 in 1323 B.C. and he was buried in a rush in what was originally the tomb of Nefertiti, who had died 10 years earlier.

Reeves’s claim about Nefertiti being the occupant of the secret crypt left experts skeptical. A mummy found in 1898 by archaeologist Victor Loret in tomb KV35 in the Valley of the Kings may be Nefertiti. Inscriptions, and later genetic analyses identified the mummy as the mother of Tutankhamun. DNA tests confirmed that he was the son of Akhenaten. His mother was confirmed to be one of Akhenaten's sisters or cousin, most likely Nefertiti.

Canoptic jar of Kiya, a secondary wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten
The hidden chamber may contain the mummy of Kiya, a wife of the pharaoh Akhenaten. Other possibilities include the elusive pharaoh Smenkhkare, or queen Meritaton, the full or half sister of Tutankhamun. It's also possible that nothing at all will be found. The discovery of treasure within the hidden chambers of King Tut's tomb would be a "Big Bang of 21st century" according to Zaazou.

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