Dr. Nicholas Reeve, an English archaeologist, believes he has discovered a secret doorway leading from the tomb of King Tut to that of Queen Nefertiti. Reeve, of the University of Arizona, has suggested that the tomb of the “boy king” Tutankhamun, the most famous of Egypt’s pharaohs, has been hiding the secret since Howard Carter and George Herbert discovered the resting place filled with gold in 1922.
Queen Nefertiti, who bore the titles “Lady of All Women” and “Mistress of Upper and Lower Egpyt” during her lifetime, was the mother of Tutankhamun and wife of Akhenaton, the man who temporarily turned Egyptian religion and culture upside-down. Reeves told the Times that he discovered the bricked-up “ghosts” of the doorways after examining digital scans of the walls in Tutankhamun’s tomb, which is location in the Valley of the Kings across the Nile River from Luxor in southern Egypt. While he believes that one of the doorways leads to a little-used storeroom, the other on the north side of the boy-king’s tomb is believed to lead to “the undisturbed burial of the tomb’s rightful owner.”
If Reeves turns out to be correct, the room containing Tut’s tomb was built to be an antechamber to that of the more illustrious and glamorous Nefertiti. It would also explain some facts about Tutankhamun’s resting place that have puzzled researchers. Tutankhamun’s tomb is smaller than those of other Egyptian kings and, as Reeves points out, a large number of the artifacts that have enraptured millions of museum visitors around the world are largely second-hand, having been recycled from earlier burials.
Finally, the opening in question appears to have been decorated with religious scenes at an earlier date than the other three walls of Tutankhamen’s tomb. The scenes would have been meant to confer protection on the room beyond.
“Only one female royal of the late 18th Dynasty is known to have received such honours [sic], and that is Nefertiti,” Reeves wrote in a report published by the Armana Royal Tombs Project.
Nefertiti, who was said to be one of the most beautiful and powerful women of the ancient world, ruled as the chief consort of the pharaoh in the late 14th century B.C.. She is believed to have died in around 1330 B.C., approximately seven years before the estimated date of Tutankhamun’s death. Despite her fame and power during her lifetime, no one is quite sure where she has been buried. Some believe she was buried at Armana, the relocated capital city established by her husband approximately 250 miles north of the Valley of The Kings. Others say one of two mummies discovered in the Valley of the Kings may be the former Queen of Egypt.