Radar to Join Hunt for Nefertiti's Tomb

Egypt OKs technology to scan King Tut's tomb for signs of missing queen's
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 29, 2015 12:54 PM CDT
Radar to Join Hunt for Nefertiti's Tomb
In this Jan. 24, 2015, file photo, the gold mask of King Tutankhamun in its glass case in the Egyptian Museum near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt.   (Hassan Ammar)

The Egyptian Antiquities Ministry granted preliminary approval for non-invasive Japanese radar to verify a theory that Queen Nefertiti's crypt may be hidden behind King Tut's 3,300-year-old tomb. A security clearance for the radar's use will probably be obtained within a month, said ministry rep Mouchira Moussa, who added that it won't cause any damage to he monument. Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, who lands in Egypt on Saturday, recently published his theory that Tut may have been rushed into an outer chamber of what was originally Nefertiti's tomb, which has never been found. Reeves claims high-resolution images of King Tut's tomb include lines underneath plastered surfaces of painted walls, showing there could be two unexplored doorways. He also argues that the design of Tut's tomb suggests it was built for a queen, not a king.

"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," said Moussa. "If it is Nefertiti's, this would be very massive." Already, there's a mummy at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo that has strong DNA evidence of being Tut's mother. DNA testing has provided strong evidence that Tut's father likely was the Pharaoh Akhenaten, the first pharaoh to try switching Egypt to monotheism. The DNA testing also showed that Tut's mother was Akhenaten's sister. Still, some archaeologists believe the two were probably cousins and that this DNA result could be the product of three generations of marriages between first cousins—and that Nefertiti, Akhenaten's chief wife, may in fact have been Tut's mother. (Read more Nefertiti stories.)

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