Nefertiti's Tomb Search Approved By Egypt

Tami Benedict

Rumors spread that Queen Nefertiti's tomb may have been located behind King Tutankhamun's, but researchers needed permission to begin searching for Nefertiti by the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry. On Tuesday, officials from the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry said that they approved the use for a non-invasive radar to see if the theory that Queen Nefertiti's final resting place may indeed be hidden being King Tutankhamun's tomb in the famous Valley of the Kings was true.

Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves was the researcher who came up with the theory that Nefertiti could rest being King Tut, but his theory has yet to be peer-reviewed. King Tut died at 19-years-old, and Reeves believes that he was rushed into an outer chamber in the tomb that was actually meant for Nefertiti.

Reeve's claims that a high-resolution image of King Tut's tomb includes lines underneath plastered surfaces of a painted wall, meaning there could still be two unexplored doorways behind where Tut lies, and one of those could possibly lead to Queen Nefertiti's tomb, according to Seattle PI.

Media Consultant to Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty Mouchira Moussa, said, "It's not going to cause any damage to the monument."

Moussa added that a security clearance for the radar will probably be obtained within a month. Reeve will return to the tomb on Monday to begin examining the northern wall where he believes Nefertiti lies. The radar, which will be operated by an expert, will look beyond the wall that Reeve believes Nefertiti is behind.

"We're very excited... It may not be a tomb belonging to Nefertiti, but it could be a tomb belonging to one of the nobles. If it is Nefertiti's, this would be very massive."

King Tut's tomb was found by British archaeologist Howard Carter in the Luxor's Valley of Kings in 1922. Tut's tomb was still intact and packed with antiquities that included Tut's world-famous golden mask. Reeves believes that Tut's tomb was built more for a queen instead of a king, showing that Nefertiti could actually rest where Tut was originally supposed to.

Finding Nefertiti's tomb would be monumental because it can provide further insight into a period of time that is largely obscure to researchers. Some researchers, including Reeves, believes that Nefertiti could have ruled Egypt by herself for a time being, even if it was only months, and finding her tomb would give them more insight into her life post King Tut.

[Image by Andreas Rentz/ Getty Images]