Radar survey suggests 90pct chance another tomb behind Tutankhamun's burial chamber

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 17 Mar 2016

The Japanese radar survey that suggests the existence of additional chambers behind the north and west walls of Tutankhamun's tomb will be followed up with another survey late March

FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 file photo, one of Egypt's famed King Tutankhamun's golden sarcophagus is displayed at his tomb in a glass case at the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. Egypt's Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty, says during a press conference Thursday, March 17, 2016, that analysis of scans of famed King Tut's burial chamber has revealed two hidden rooms that could contain metal or organic material. (AP)

After four months of technical studies in Japan, radar specialist Hirokatsu Watanabi asserted with 90 percent certainty that there are two hidden chambers behind the north and west walls of Tutankhamun's burial chamber, Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty announced in a press conference Thursday.

Eldamaty said that the recent studies carried out on the west and north walls of Tutankhamun's tomb reveal solid and empty spaces, as well as lintels, which indicates the existence of doorways.

Organic and metal materials were also detected inside these empty spaces.

Eldamaty explains that studies carried out on the northern wall reveal that it has dark and light spots.

The dark spots, he says, are the original bedrock of the Valley of the Kings, while light spots are empty spaces.

"A difference in thickness is also noted," he pointed out.

Regarding the possibility that the organic materials found could be a mummy, Eldamaty told Ahram Online: "So far I cannot ascertain what these organic materials might be. It could be a mummy, a sarcophagus or anything. I could not tell."

Eldamaty announced that at the end of March, more radar scanning will be carried out on the north and west walls of Tutankhamun's burial chamber to confirm the results from the Watanabi radar survey.

"This is a very important step in an attempt to explore these two walls and find the correct and safe methods to uncover what lies behind them," Eldamaty asserted.

He said that the radar surveys represent a rediscovery of the boy-king's tomb and suggests that the void spaces behind the walls could be royal burial chamber of Tutankhamun's sister Merit-Atun, or his mother Kia, or his grandmother Tiye, but not Nefertiti as had been suggested by Egyptologist Nicolas Reeves.

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