Part One of a Series - "The Secrets of King Tutankhamun's Tomb"
One of the great mysteries of antiquities has been over the past century is the question; where was the tomb of one of Egypt’s most powerful Queens of antiquity, the 19 year old boy-king King Tutankhamun’s mother, Queen Nefertiti?
Almost 90 years after the discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun by the Egyptian archeologist, Howard Carter, and his English benefactor, Lord George Hebert Carnarvon, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, the boy-king became an international sensation and one of the most famous of ancient Egypt’s pharaohs. This was not because he was such powerful pharaoh but because of the enigma that continued to prevail; was the mother of King Tut, the most beautiful and powerful woman in Egyptian dynastic history, Nefertiti?
Dr. Nicholas Reeves of the University of Arizona recently revealed to the Times of London that a hidden secret doorway that led from the tomb of King Tut to the Tomb of Nefertiti may has now been discovered.
In the most famous of ancient cemeteries, the Valley of the Kings is just across the Nile River from the famous city of Luxor in southern Egypt, Reeves began using one of the modern archeologist’s tools of invention; digital scanning of the walls of ancient tombs. There as he digitally scanned the walls of the tomb of King Tut, he discovered two secret and hidden doorways.
One of the hidden doors was on the south side of the tomb that opened to a little used storeroom. But to the north he found another secret doorway which Reeves believes leads to the Tomb of one of Egypt’s most famous queens; Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, recognized today as one of the most powerful queens of the Egyptian ancient world.
The doors were “bricked up” and literally became “ghosts of the ancient world”. Yet because of the news, the international excitement is once again in a crescendo, building up expectations that behind the “bricked up” section is “the undisturbed burial tomb’s its rightful owner; Queen Nefertiti.
It was the year of 1922 that the world awakened to one of the greatest discoveries of the ancient world; the Golden Tomb of King Tut. It was discovered by Egyptian archeologist Howard Carter in the year of 1922. As amazing as the contents of that tomb was, Reeves believes that King Tut’s tomb was but an antechamber to potentially the tomb of the most glamorous queens of all times. If so, this would also answer poignant questions that have puzzled archeologists over the past century.
Tutankhamun's tomb and its contents, as viewed in a 3-D model. A corridor led to an antechamber and an annex filled with objects. The antechamber opened into
the coffin chamber with King Tut's sarcophagus. The coffin chamber led to another small room filled with King Tut's treasures.
One thing that puzzled the ancient archeologists was the fact of how small King Tut’s tomb was actually built; smaller than all the other kings buried in the Valley of the Kings to the south near Luxor in Southern Egypt. Then one of the golden secrets of the glorious tomb of King Tut’s is the fact that a lot of the priceless artifacts were but second-handed hand-me-downs from prior tombs that had been recycled from several of the other tombs of more ancient royal burials.
It appeared that the young King Tut was not expected to have died so soon. It is known that King Tut’s father, the Pharaoh Akhenaten, had died earlier. It also was apparent that the young ruler, the only male with eight sisters, was next in line to be the ruler of Egypt.
Yet, as we shall soon see, there were many complexities in the royal lineage, a vibrant and powerful mother, who later became the regent of her young son, and a son who seemed to have a mind of his own but was beset with many health and congenital anomalies.
It does not appear that King Tut was expected to die so soon, for in reality he did not have a royal burial chamber designed after the classic Egyptian models of royal tombs. Whenever the king of Egypt descended into his own tomb for royal inspection, the pharaoh would turn to the left to enter the antechamber and then enter his large royal tomb. In this tomb, the corridor turned to the right in which only occurred in tombs of Queens or women of distinction.
According to Reeves, the tomb of Tutankhamun had “ghost” doorways hidden beneath multiple layers of plaster on the walls of Tut’s burial chamber. One of these chambers he proposes leads to the grave of the “Lady of the Two Lands” and there it has been lost for centuries since her sudden death, according to Traditional Egyptian Chronologies in the year of 1340 BCE.
Finally, the walls of the antechamber with painted scenes appear to have been decorated with religious scenes at an earlier date than the other three walls of Tutankhamen's tomb. The scenes would have been meant to confer protection on the room beyond, but for whom.
When the tomb was constructed, Tut’s father, Pharaoh Akhenaten was still alive. Of all the royal women, according to Reeves, “Only one female royal of the late 18th Dynasty is known to have received such honors, or royal distinction and that was Queen Nefertiti” as Reeves wrote in a report published by the Armana Royal Tombs Project. The evidence as Reeves proposed, was that the Tomb of King Tut was earlier built to be the antechamber of a more illustrious and glamorous tomb for Queen Nefertiti.
It was Queen Nefertiti, who bore the titles “Lady of All Women” and “Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt” during her lifetime. She ruled as the chief consort of Pharaoh Akhenaten, according to Traditional Egyptian Chronology in the late 14th century B.C., but as we will later learn, it is more probable that Queen Nefertiti and King Tut lived in the 8th to 7th BCE in the days of the Divided Royal monarchies of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. As such she would not have died in the year of 1340 BCE but it is believed that she died about seven years before the estimated death of King Tut when he was a mere 12 years old.
Despite her fame and power during her lifetime, no one is quite sure where she had been buried. Some believe she was buried at Armana, the capital city established by her husband approximately 250 miles north of Karnack and the Valley of the Kings. Others say one of two mummies discovered in the Valley of the Kings may be the former Queen of Egypt. In reality the jury is still out.
The Tomb of King Tutankhamun where his sarcophagus rested with a Secret Passage in the front into a Hidden Storage Room and to then to the Rear Side to the Proposed Antechamber where his mother, Queen Nefertiti’s Tomb is believed to be located.
The question of who was this “most beautiful woman of antiquity in Egypt? Where was the tomb of her remains? There have been numerous studies as we will recount later, but it was the English archeologist, Dr. Nicholas Reeves, at the University of Arizona who it appears is close to solving this mystery of ancient antiquity.
After scanning digitalized scans of the painted walls of King Tut’s tomb, Reeves began to notice various irregularities in the plastering of the walls. He believed that he could detect “hidden door” faults in the intricately decorated plastering which were characteristic of a door cut through the multilayers of limestone, plaster and painting.
When they were later bricked up, they were subsequently hidden so no grave robbers and looters could find the hidden tomb.
After analyzing the high-resolution scans of the walls of Tutankhamun's grave complex in the Valley of the Kings, Dr. Reeves spotted what appeared to be a secret entrance. He believed that he truly had uncovered the ‘ghosts’ of two door portals that tomb builders had earlier blocked up. One of these rooms was believed to be a storage room. The other portal, on the north side of Tutankhamun's tomb, by his admission, contains ‘the undisturbed burial of the tomb's original owner – Queen Nefertiti’.
If correct, now 96 years later, Reeves may follow the pathway of the English Lord Carnarvon and Egyptian archeologist, Howard Carter. If he does discover the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, then, one of the greatest archeological finds ever may be unveiled for behind this hidden door may be a tomb far more magnificent than anything found in Tutankhamun’s burial chamber, and could be the most magnificent tomb ever discovered in the world.
As stated earlier, the Tomb of King Tut was much smaller than any of the other king’s tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Here we see the antechamber and further in was the Sarcophagus and Burial Chamber. If you will notice the walls are plain with no paintings, until one enters King Tut’s burial chamber.
It took almost a decade of meticulous and painstaking work to empty the tomb of Tutankhamen. Around 3500 individual items were recovered. In all the Egyptian history, King Tut was the only pharaoh entombed in the Valley of the Kings that still has his mummy in its original burial location. According to Reeves, the ‘richness of the thousands of artifacts stored in the King Tutankhamun’s four small chambers was ‘overwhelming’.
Concerning King Tut’s tomb, upon entering the tomb and walking down the shaft as it descends towards the tomb, Dr. Reeve made the astute observation that upon leaving the shaft, upon turning right to go to the burial chamber was far more typical of the tombs of the Egyptian queens rather than the pharaohs.
The size of the burial chamber is quite small given that he was a noted king. The size of the Pharaoh’s burial chamber is usually quite large but King Tut’s burial chamber was really no larger than the antechamber, and not built as a “tomb fit for an Egyptian pharaoh. This led to the supposition that King Tut’s tomb built as an addition to the pre-existing tomb of his mother; Queen Nefertiti.
You might want to Read the Full Series:
"The Secrets of King Tutankhamun's Tomb"
Part Two – “The Parents and Ancestry of King Tutankhamun’s Family”
The Life of King Tutankhamun is one of the most amazing archeological stories of the recent ages. It has captured the imagination of the world in the magnificent imagery of the Golden Sarcophagus, royal throne and thousands of other Egyptian objects of that era. With now the potential of finding the tomb of Queen Nefertiti attached to the Tomb of King is reigniting that international fervor.
We will explore the life of that era, the probable myths of the ancient archeological era of Ancient Egypt. This includes modern Egyptian archeology’s refusal to accept the close relationships of the Greater Israel of the United Davidian Imperial Monarchy in Jerusalem with King Solomon and the Egyptian 18th and 19th Dynastic kingdoms in Thebes and Karnak.
The Amarna Era of Egypt in the Monotheistic Era if King Tut’s father, the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten appears to have such a connection. These new discoveries in archeology with the recent explosion DNA typing of the inhabitants of the world have a direct relationship also with the quest to find the Lost Ten Tribes of the House of Israel.
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