Queen Nefertiti tomb: Egypt 'will not allow Tutankhamun tomb to be damaged' in hunt for secret chamber

Egyption archaelogist says theory that Nefertiti's body could be in Tutankhamun's tomb is "baseless"

Elsa Vulliamy
Sunday 27 December 2015 16:06 GMT
The ancient queen is understood to have ruled alongside her husband
The ancient queen is understood to have ruled alongside her husband

One of Egypt’s leading archaeologists has taken sides in a dispute over the possible location of Queen Nefertiti’s tomb - and said that any attempt to test the theory by making a hole in the wall will not be allowed.

The British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves recently claimed that the tomb belonging to the 14th-century wife of Akhenaten could be in a concealed chamber behind one wall of the tomb of Tutankhamun - her step-son.

After looking at high-resolution images, he concluded that some straight lines on the walls – previously hidden by colour and texture – may indicate the presence of a secret chamber.

Tutankhamun died at the age of 19, and it is thought that, due to his unexpected death, he may have been buried in a chamber of his step-mother’s tomb.

At the time, the Egyption antiquities minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said that there was a 90 per cent chance that there was “something” behind the walls.

But former antiquities minister and leading archaeologist Zahi Hawasshas told the Telegraph that Reeves’ theory is “baseless”.

He said that he would never allow anyone to make a hole in Tutankhamun’s tomb in order to test the theory: “The tomb is very vulnerable; any hole may expose the paintings to complete collapse”.

Instead, Mr Hawass has his own theory about where Queen Nerfertiti might be.

He believes she is one of the two female mummies found in the Valley of the Queens.

The mummies have been taken to the Egyptian Museum for testing, where their DNA will be compared to that of the recently discovered mummy of Queen Mutnodjmet – Neferititi’s sister - to find out the truth.

Whatever the DNA tests reveal, however, Mr Hawass is adamant that no one will be allowed to damage Tutankhamun’s tomb , and therefore said Reeves’ theory was “born dead”.

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