Tutankhamun's secret chamber does not exist, Nefertiti mystery remains unsolved


Archaeologists have harnessed sophisticated radar scanning technology to disprove the contentious theory that secret rooms are hidden inside King Tutankhamun's burial chamber.

The announcement brings a disappointing end to years of speculation that the tomb of ancient Egypt's young pharaoh king contained passages to a hidden chamber that could be the last resting place of Queen Nefertiti.

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced in a Facebook post on Sunday that it could conclusively deny the existence of hidden rooms behind the walls of the boy king's funeral chamber.

Francesco Porcelli of the Polytechnic University of Turin presented the findings at an worldwide conference in Cairo.

King Tutankhamun's mummy still rests in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Tutankhamun was Pharaoh of Egypt during the New Kingdom period, a golden age in Egyptian history.

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However, Italian specialists from the University of Turin used new penetrating radar scans to reach their conclusion, saying they were confident of the results, the BBC reported.

The hunt for the lost rooms originally sprang from a sensational claim made by British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, who argued the tomb of Tutankhamun was actually an outer chamber for the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, one of the wives of Tutankhamun's father, Akhenaten. The first two, carried out by British and Japanese researchers, suggested there was a possibility there was a concealed chamber, but their results were not totally conclusive and many researchers remained unconvinced.

Reeves said he saw hints of covered-over doorways in high-resolution images of the 3,300-year-old tomb's main chamber. It had been speculated that this second undiscovered chamber was the tomb of the famous Queen Nefertiti. The virtual autopsy indicated that the boy king suffered from a genetic bone wasting disease and a club foot, making him unable to walk unaided. Scientists uncovered many treasures there, including Tut's coffin.

The ministry had been gradually moving King Tut's belongings to a new museum outside Cairo near the Giza Pyramids to undergo restoration before they are put on display.

The fourth International Tutankhamun Conference in Cairo where Dr Porcelli presented the findings, the most extensive radar survey of the site to date, was attended by a wide range of Egyptologists and archaeologists from the world over.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.