She is the stuff of legends, the other-worldy beauty who ruled Egypt alongside Pharaoh Akhenaten – Queen Nefertiti.
For years, archaeologists have been hunting for a burial place fit for the Queen, following her sudden death in 1340BC, but to no avail.
However, British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves, believes he has finally found Queen Nefertiti’s burial chamber.
Last year, a Madrid-based art restoration specialist helped create a facsimile of King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor, based on scans.
Mr Reeves, based at the University of Arizona, studied these high-resolution images of the walls of King Tut’s burial chamber and spotted cracks in the walls that could indicate two previously unrecognised “ghost” doorways lay behind.
“The implications are extraordinary, for, if digital appearance translates into physical reality, it seems we are now faced not merely with the prospect of a new, Tutankhamun- era storeroom to the west; to the north (there) appears to be signalled a continuation of tomb KV 62 (Tutankhamun’s tomb), and within these uncharted depths an earlier royal interment — that of Nefertiti herself,” said the archaeologist.
In his paper on the possible find, Reeves theorises that the size of Tutankhamun’s tomb is “less than appropriate” for the final resting place of an Egyptian king, and issue that has baffled archaeologists for years.
Reeves believes the tomb’s inadequate size and unusual layout are due to the fact it is an extension of an earlier tomb originally designed for a queen.
Further evidence that backs up the claim is that recycled equipment found in the burial chamber predates Tutankhamun’s accession.
Mr Reeves concludes that the site was most likely intended for an Egyptian queen of the late Eighteenth Dynasty – of which Nefertiti was the only woman to achieve such honours – and was then repurposed to house the body of King Tut, who died so young, at age 17.
Toby Wilkinson, an Egyptologist at Cambridge University says, “It’s certainly tantalising what Nicholas Reeves has suggested.”
“If we look at what we know, we’re pretty certain there is an undiscovered royal tomb of roughly the same period somewhere, because we have more kings than we have tombs, so logic suggests that there’s still a tomb to be found.”
Could this be the greatest archaeological discovery of our time? We’ll have to wait and see for now. Archaeologists need to gather more evidence to support the theory before attempting to uncover the Queen’s final resting place.
Are you fascinated by the ancient Egyptians? Wouldn’t you just love to see the unearthing of the elusive queen?