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  Newsmakers   ‘90 per cent chance’ of hidden chambers in Tut’s tomb

‘90 per cent chance’ of hidden chambers in Tut’s tomb

AKI/AFP
Published : Mar 18, 2016, 6:08 am IST
Updated : Mar 18, 2016, 6:08 am IST

Scans of King Tutankhamun’s tomb have almost certainly shown two rooms hidden behind the pharaoh’s burial chamber, Egyptian antiquities minister Mamdouh al-Damati said on Thursday.

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Scans of King Tutankhamun’s tomb have almost certainly shown two rooms hidden behind the pharaoh’s burial chamber, Egyptian antiquities minister Mamdouh al-Damati said on Thursday.

“We can say more than 90 per cent that the chambers are there,” Damati told journalists at a press conference in Cairo. “It could be the discovery of the century,” Dalmati stated.

Radar scans carried out in November pointed to “different things behind the walls, different material that could be metal, could be organic,” he said.

The hidden rooms could house the grave of a member of Tutankhamun’s family, according to al-Damati. A study by renowned British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves has said that Nefertiti’s tomb could be in a secret chamber adjoining Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of Kings in Luxor in southern Egypt. According to him, Tutankhamun, who died unexpectedly, was buried hurriedly in an underground chamber probably not intended for him. His death would have forced priests to reopen Nefertiti’s tomb 10 years after her death because the young pharaoh’s own mausoleum had not yet been built. Damati said the two hidden chambers were behind the northern and the western walls of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber. “What it means, we have two extensions” behind Tutankhamun’s burial chamber, he said. When asked if the organic material could be a mummy, Damati said: “I cannot say. I can only say we have here some organic materials.” He said a new radar test would be conducted on March 31.

“Another radar, more improved, will check and measure for the dimensions of the wall behind and the thickness of the walls,” Damati said, adding that the result of the new test would be announced in Luxor on April 1. Nefertiti played a major political and religious role in the 14th century BC. She actively supported her husband Akhenaten, Tutankhamun’s father, who temporarily converted ancient Egypt to monotheism by imposing the cult of sun god Aton. Tutankhamun died aged 19 in 1324 BC after just nine years on the throne. His final resting place was discovered by another British Egyptologist, Howard Carter, in 1922.

Location: Egypt, Kairo, Cairo