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King Tut's big Secret
Meet King Tutenkhamen
From the beginning
A few days ago I was reading the local newspaper and came across a rather interesting story, a story of a secret kept for three thousand three hundred and fifty years (give or take a few). Basically a secret older than the earliest part of the Bible!
And it's been staring us in the face for the last ninety years!
Staring us in the face, yet we've missed it right up to now!
What do I mean? Well one of the biggest puzzles of the Ancient world regards King Tutenkhamun. The boy King who ruled Ancient Egypt for nine years but when he died he was literally forgotten and even the grave robbers forgot about him as he lay undisturbed for three thousand two hundred years.
He was buried in the humblest tomb that any Pharaoh has ever been found in. A tomb so small that Archaeologists have wondered if it was meant to be a tomb! Some have said it was simply because he died so young that they simply thought they buried him in the part of the tomb that was ready and they simply 'moved on' but now there's another theory and it's one that's got the archaeological world excited and worried as if it's true then one of the most famous sites on the planet will have to be dismantled to see what's really there!
The Boy King
IT MAY BE WHAT IT SEEMS
To the Archaeologist King Tutankhamen's tomb seems to be a simple 'antechamber' and that's exactly what it may be according to a new theory!
Using technology that would seem more at home in something like a science fiction movie Archaeologists are now studying many Ancient monuments with 'new eyes' and seeing things they never realized were there! Digital cameras linked to GPS trackers can now put artifacts within fractions of an inch of where they were found, hieroglyphics can be faithfully re-created in three dimensions giving accurate representation of the original
Basically they can now literally make full scale 3D models for scholars to keep working on long after the dig season (usually only two months in summer) has gone. The result? Much more time to pore over what you found, and that's what led to the discovery!
BUILDING A REPLICA
Tourists have been able to visit King Tut's tomb for years but slowly more and more damage has been done so now the Egyptian government went ahead with using the technology to build a complete replica of the tomb, that meant not only taking photos but scanning the walls to find out how thick the plaster is? The answer was the North and West walls plaster isn't as thick as the others, and there seems to be nothing behind it!
That has Egyptologists wondering if there might be another explanation. The tomb should be showing the rock behind the plaster but it isn't. Couple that with the fact that where the rock 'disappears' is also where there are slight indentations in the walls and you get the kind of thing Indiana Jones would be looking for and it's just the kind you'd expect would be there if you had another doorway. Is there another doorway there? (or two as there are two sites where this happens). It's been suggested that there are two doorways, one to a storeroom and one to another burial chamber, but who's?
Nicholas Reeves, an Archaeologist at the University of Arizona thinks that there is something special behind those walls. The layout of the tomb and the fact that there is what seems like doors leads him to think that King Tut has been hiding a big secret, the Tomb of his Mother Queen Nefertiti
Who was he
The Story as we know it.
To fully understand the situation you actually have to go back to 1,350 BC and the reign of his Father Akhenaten.
Akhenaten, the Apostate Pharaoh of Egypt. Up until his reign the Pharaohs had believed in the gods of Egypt but Akhenaten was different. At the start of his reign he was called Amenhotep lV but five years into his reign he abandoned the gods of Egypt for the one god 'Aten'
Some have said that Akhenaten was an influence on Moses but the dates are wrong for that and during Akhenaten's reign the 'Habiru' were arriving in Canaan and taking the cities of Egypt's vassal kingdoms, one by one they were falling until the remainder sent urgent pleas to the Pharaoh that we now know as the Amarna letters.
A good argument could be made for the opposite, that Akhenaten was influenced by the Hebrews and Moses!
Akhenaten's chief wife and Queen was Nefertiti, a very beautiful and intelligent woman who alongside her husband changed the very faith of the nation. Not only that but after Akhenaten's death in 1336 she is thought to have ruled alone for a while before her son Tutankhamen acceded to the throne.
Nefertiti is thought to have been one of only three women ever to rule Egypt. In all the three thousand years of history only three women ever rose to the rank of Pharaoh! Hatsheput was the fifth Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty.
King Tut's Mum
Was Akhenaten's chief wife and queen. she is thought to have survived him and ruled for a while until her son Tutankhamen was ready to take the throne at the tender age of ten. For a short time they are thought to have ruled together until she died.
King Tut himself only ruled for nine years and by the age of nineteen he was dead! An event that happened so quickly that it took the nation by surprise and he was buried quickly. it was said he was buried so quickly that the paint on the walls didn't have time to dry before the Tomb was sealed and forgotten about.
Nefertiti's tomb has never been found and there are many theories as to what happened to her but no one has found an answer, maybe that's until now!
The Valley of the Kings
The Pharaohs are buried in the valley of the Kings, their queens are buried in another valley not far away called the valley of the Queens.
In the valley of the Kings almost all the tombs follow the same pattern that as you enter the tomb you turn left to enter the burial chamber, that is almost all, there is one exception.
In the valley of the queens as you enter the tombs you turn right to enter the burial chamber, there are no exceptions! The one exception in the valley of the Kings is Tutankhamen's tomb where you turn right to enter the burial chamber (just like you would in a queen's tomb)
Could it be that King Tut was actually buried in his Mother's tomb? and that behind the false walls is one of the greatest archaeological finds in history just waiting to be found?
Lets face it
Egyptologists are faced with a huge dilemma. King Tut was the only Pharaoh to be discovered with all his burial treasure. he was literally buried in his tomb and promptly forgotten about. His tomb was raided but not for the treasure, it was raided (twice it's believed) for the perishables he was buried with. Some even say the tomb was sealed up so quick when he was buried that the paint literally wasn't dry on the walls!
Queen Nefertiti was an enigma, so important a figure in Egypt's history yet until now we had no idea where she was buried, but the possibility is that behind the one seemingly insignificant yet undisturbed tomb there may be an even greater tomb that has been undisturbed for three and a half thousand years, not only that but from one of the most important figures in history. But to do that we have to take a huge gamble.
As of mid August apparently the Egyptian Antiquities Authority has given the 'Go ahead' for Ground penetrating Radar equipment to take a look at what might be there. Apparently they think there is enough weight to the theory to at least take a look before deciding!
Do we take the risk?
To see if Nefertiti is there we have to damage King Tut's Tomb, a world famous tourist site, do we take that risk?
Want to read more?
- Is Nefertiti in Tut’s Tomb? - The New Yorker
Amy Davidson writes about a new theory, by the Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, that Nefertiti is buried in a hidden chamber in King Tut’s tomb. This article tells more.
- King Tut's Tomb May Hide Nefertiti's Secret Grave : Discovery News
A scan of the wall in King Tutankhamun's tomb reveals faint lines, which could suggest two hidden doors - could King Tut's mother live behind them?
- King Tut's tomb may hide Nefertiti's secret grave - CBS News
It's possible that the boy king's mother is buried behind a hidden door in his tomb