Can Infrared Scan Solve Old King Tut Tomb Mysteries?
Among the puzzles researchers hope to solve is whether Tutankhamun's tomb has hidden openings to the burial site of Queen Nefertiti, whose remains have never been found.
CAIRO — The Antiquities Ministry announced it would oversee a new infrared scanning of Tutankhamun's tomb on the 93rd anniversary of its discovery. The hope is that the process will reveal hidden chambers within the tomb, and shed light on whether it was initially constructed for Queen Nefertiti.
The scanning, in partnership with the Paris-based Heritage Information Preservation Institute (HIP Institute) and Cairo University's College of Engineering, has been scheduled for this week, according to a statement published on the ministry's webpage.
This comes days after the ministry announced another international effort to scan the pyramids using high-tech equipment, including the best non-invasive scanning visualization techniques.
The HIP Institute said it would utilize infrared thermography to scan King Tut's tomb in search of hidden secrets. UK scientist Nicholas Reeves claimed there might be hidden passageways and doors concealing Nefertiti's tomb within that of King Tutankhamun's.
The entrance to Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of Kings, Luxor, was discovered by English archaeologist Howard Carter and his team of workers on Nov. 4, 1922. Later that month, Carter and fellow archaeologist Lord Carnarvon entered the interior chambers of the tomb and found them untouched, unlike the tombs of other pharaohs, which were typically looted and ransacked.
Undisturbed for nearly 3,200 years, Tutankamun's tomb was full of treasures and other artifacts.
Tutankhamun, who reigned circa 1332—1323 BC, was a ruling member and pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. He is believed to have died at just 18 years of age and to be the son of Pharaoh Akhenaton — Egypt"s first monotheistic ruler. Akhenaton's wife was Queen Nefertiti, although she was not Tutankhamun's mother. Nefertiti's remains have not yet been unearthed.