Second radar survey of Tutankhamun's tomb to be conducted tomorrow

Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 30 Mar 2016

The second survey is to test the results of the first that found evidence of empty spaces, and possible doorways, behind the north and west walls of Tutankhamun's tomb

Tutankhamun's burial chamber

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Antiquities' project to explore a new burial chamber of the boy king Tutankhamun, to test a theory put forward in August last year, a second radar survey is to be carried out Thursday evening.

British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves had claimed that the burial place of Queen Nefertiti is hidden inside the tomb of her son-in-law, Tutankhamun.

Reeves proposed his theory after close examination of high-resolution 3D laser scan photographs taken by the Spanish Factum Arte Organisation in creating a replica of Tutankhamun’s tomb, now erected in the area adjacent to the resthouse of its discoverer on Luxor’s west bank.

Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department of the ministry, told Ahram Online that the second survey would be carried out by a foreign expert in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering of Cairo University to check the results of the first radar survey carried out by Japanese expert Hirokatsu Watanabe in November 2015.

If the results are compatable with the first set, Afifi pointed out, an archaeological and a scientific committee will be organised to review the whole project and all results, in order to discern a way to explore what is behind the west and north walls of Tutankahmun's burial chamber.

Until now several ideas were suggested, but further discussion is necessary in hone in on the most efficient and non-invasive method to explore the possible hidden chamber. "Tutankhamun's tomb is one of Egypt's national heritage gems that has to be protected and safeguarded," he asserted.

The result of the first survey was announced at a press conference held mid-March by former Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty who announced that with more than 90 percent certainty, there are two hidden chambers behind the north and west walls of Tutankhamun's burial chamber.

The first survey revealed solid and empty spaces as well as lintels, indicating the existence of doorways.

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

According to a source in the antiquities ministry, the foreign expert in radar is American from the National Geographic Society.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany is to supervise the whole effort, along with the Egyptian team. Eldamaty is to attend the radar survey along with Abbas Mohamed, professor at the National Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics in Cairo, Reeves and Afifi.

On Friday, an international press conference is scheduled to be held at the footsteps of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings on Luxor’s west bank.

Short link: