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Hope for Hidden Chambers in King Tuts Tomb Crushed by Science: The Two-Way: NPR



King Tutankhamun's golden sarcophagus, exhibited at his grave in a glass case in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt. New radar research, released Sunday, indicates that there are no hidden chambers in the tomb.

Amr Nabil / AP


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Amr Nabil / AP

King Tutankhamun's golden sarcophagus, exhibited at his grave in a glass case in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt. New radar research, released Sunday, indicates that there are no hidden chambers in the tomb.

Amr Nabil / AP

There are no hidden chambers or undiscovered treasures in the tomb of King Tutankhamun.

The famous young pharaoh seems to have been buried without further members of the royal family, according to the results of a three-year radar study of the burial chamber, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. The discovery was announced Sunday at the fourth annual international Tutankhamun GEM conference in Giza, Egypt.

The latest analysis concludes the controversial theory that the tomb initially belonged to the long-lost Queen Nefertiti, who is believed to be Tutankhamen's stepmother, aunt, and mother-in-law. It was carried out in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and under the direction of Franco Porcelli of the Polytechnic University of Turin.

"It may be a bit disappointing that there is nothing behind the wall from Tutankhamun's grave, but on the other hand, I think that's a good science, "Porcelli told Reuters TV. "And it proves that this kind of technology … can really have a significant impact on archeology."

The British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves suggested for the first time that the 3,300-year-old tomb probably contained at least two hidden chambers. and first served as the final resting place for the beautiful queen before the young Pharaoh was added a few years later.

Initial findings seem to support the Reeves hypothesis. A radar scan of Hirokatsu Watanabe's grave room in November 2015 showed that there were two empty areas behind a series of intricately painted murals in the main chamber depicting funeral rites.

According to NPR, this discovery led Egypt's then-minister of antiquities to say that researchers were now 90 percent sure they would find a secret chamber. But the government's enthusiasm was muted after a second round of radar scans, conducted by the National Geographic Society in April 2016, was at odds with the first readings.

Now the last report submitted to the current Antiques Minister over the weekend solves the debate once and for all. The study concludes, "We conclude with a very high degree of confidence that the hypothesis regarding the existence of hidden chambers adjacent to [to] Tutankhamun's grave is not supported by the [ground-penetrating radar] data."

Tom Hardwick, an Egyptologist living in Egypt who was skeptical of Reeves theories from the start, told NPR it was disappointing that the tomb contained no evidence of Nefertiti because "it would have been one of the most remarkable discoveries of the century."

Everything related to the 18th dynasty of the Egyptian era of the New Kingdom will capture the public's imagination, Hardwick said. But, he adds, the advantage of Porcellis discovery without discovery is that "now we know for sure."

"There is a difference between the assumption that there is nothing, and finally knowing that there is nothing," he said.

The debate over Nefertiti's remains is another controversy among Egyptian experts, according to Hardwick. Some believe that they are still near their bull, since the 14th century BC. Untouched, buried. Others claim that her body has already been discovered and is being exhibited as an unnamed woman in the Cairo Egyptian Museum. Others, including Hardwick, say there is ample evidence that their original burial ground was probably destroyed centuries ago because of its controversial and abused role in history.

After the discovery of Tutankhamen's mummy in 1922, the cause of his death remained a mystery until 2010. NPR reported DNA analysis and CT scans of the young pharaoh and some of his relatives revealed that he probably died from a "raging case of malaria".

In addition, the king was born with a cleft palate, a clubfoot, and led a short but painful life, said Howard Markel, director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan NPR.

In an interview on the findings, Markel said:

"He probably had an orthopedic or bone disease called Kohler's disease, which leads to poor blood flow to the bones in the foot, and is likely to have broken his foot In fact, in King Tut's grave there are several walking sticks, his own walking sticks, and they have wonderful evidence of wear. "

A collection of items that belong to Tutankhamun – 4,549 pieces – were brought overseas to the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is still near the Pyramids of Giza.


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