Over the last few days, I have been bombarded with questions regarding the “discovery” of Nefertiti’s tomb. People are asking me if it’s true, has Nefertiti’s tomb been discovered? (There are several articles online…)
So what do I think? Well, first off, nothing was discovered. My colleague, Nick Reeves, believes that he has detected fissures in the painted walls of Tutankhamun’s tomb that may be indicative of entrances to previously unnoticed chambers. His hypothesis is based on the study of photographs and scans made of Tutankhamun’s tomb in order to create a facsimile of it.
That being said, the (obvious) next step is to verify whether these chambers actually exist. (Reeves himself has stated that his hypothesis needs to be verified in the field.) Considering that these supposed chambers are located behind the only two painted plaster walls of Tutankhamun’ tomb, this necessitates much cogitation and the approval of the Minister for Antiquities of Egypt. A geophysical survey is probably the way to go in determining if the rooms do exist. Geologists have all sorts of ground penetrating radars, magnetometers, etc… that could help.
If they do exist, only archaeological excavation will tell us if we are in fact dealing with the tomb of Nefertiti–and that’s going to be problematic to say the least. Let’s not forget that these supposed rooms are extensions of Tutankhamun’s tomb; one needs to find a way to enter said chambers without destroying the most well-known royal tomb in Egypt. However, like many colleagues, I think it is premature to put forth the identity of the owner of these chambers. Several Egyptologists have commented on the ‘discovery’ and many doubt that the previously unknown rooms could actually belong to the famous queen. (Read here and here and here, for example.)
So. Has Nefertiti’s tomb been discovered? My answer is no. It is much to early to confirm anything about anything at this point. Let’s just wait and see what happens… but many of us actually doubt the chambers even exist because they wouldn’t fit in the traditional architectural plan of tombs of this period.