Infrared scans have raised the possibility of a hidden chamber in the tomb of King Tutankhamun, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has announced.
The find could support a British's archaeologist's theory that Queen Nefertiti, or another ancient Egyptian royal, is also buried there.
Mandouh el-Damaty, the Minister of Antiquities, told National Geographic the preliminary analysis showed parts of the northern wall of the tomb had different temperatures.
One possibility is that the difference in temperature is caused by a hidden open area behind the wall.
Renowned British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves published a paper this year in which he claimed the tomb of the pharaoh includes two doorways that were plastered and painted over.
He argues the doorways indicate the tomb was originally built for Queen Nefertiti, but Tutankhamun's death would have forced priests to open the tomb 10 years after her death, because the young pharaoh's own mausoleum had not yet been built.
However, Mr el-Damaty says the chamber may contain Kiya, a wife of the pharaoh Akhenaten.
"A number of experiments will be carried out to determine more accurately the area marking the difference in temperature,” Mr el-Damaty told Yahoo News.
It will take a week or more using the thermography equipment in order to confirm the results, he added.
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- Queen Nefertiti
- Mandouh el-Damaty
- Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities
- Nicholas Reeves
- King Tutankhamum
- National Geographic