This week, the Ministry of Antiquities will start the second phase of a study aimed at uncovering the mystery behind an unidentified sarcophagus found in 1906 inside tomb KV55 at the Valley of the Kings on Luxor’s west bank.
The study is being operated with a grant of $28,500 from the American Research Centre in Egypt (ARCE) Endowment Fund.
This tomb was thought to hold the body of the monotheistic king Akhenaten, though no definitive evidence has been presented to back up this speculation.
Elham Salah, head of the ministry’s Museums Department, told Ahram Online that the study is being carried out on a collection of 500 gold sheets found in a box in storage at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir along with the remains of a skull and a handwritten note in French.
The note, she says, is dated to when KV55 was first found and states that the 500 accompanying sheets were discovered with a sarcophagus, though it does not mention which sarcophagus.
According to Elham, the first phase of the study, which started last year, indicated that the gold sheets may belong to the sarcophagus found in KV55.
Islam Ezat, from the scientific office of the ministry, said that the study is being carried out by skilled Egyptian archaeologists and restorers from Egyptian Museums and it may lead to uncovering the identity of the owner of the sarcophagus and the tomb.
pieces of the skull found inside the box