Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Researchers Say No Hidden Chambers in King Tut's Tomb

A few years back, archaeologists, egyptologists, and fans of Raiders of the Lost Ark got very excited when it was announced that there could be hidden passages and chambers behind the walls of King Tut's tomb. This set off all kinds of speculation about what could possibly be waiting behind those walls, with some suggesting that it could be the final resting place of Nefertiti herself. But before researchers could begin tearing apart those walls, further scans were made using ground penetrating radar and laser mapping systems which cast doubt onto the idea that there were still secrets to be found in the tomb. Now, it seems those doubts have been confirmed with new scans indicating that there are no secret chambers after all.

A team of researchers have used radar once again to scan the interior of Tutankhamun's tomb, located in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. It was the third such scan conducted at the location over the past few years, and once again the results came up empty. Egyptian officials now say they believe that there is nothing left to be found inside the underground chambers. The latest use of gourd penetrating radar confirm the results of one of the previous scans, which also found nothing of importance behind the walls.

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities released a statement announcing the findings a few days back. In that announcement officials said "We conclude, with a very high level of confidence, that the hypothesis concerning the existence of hidden chambers adjacent [to] Tutankhamun’s tomb is not supported by the GPR data."

The results were disappointing to Egyptian officials who had hoped that a major new discovery could help bring attention to the country's floundering tourism market and revive interest for travelers to want to visit the region. Tourism was once one of the country's biggest revenue generators, but in the years following the Arab Spring, many western visitors have gone elsewhere. A new discovery like the one rumored to be hidden in Tut's tomb may have changed that, but alas it wasn't meant to be.

There are of course still plenty of things to be discovered in Egypt and new archaeological sites are found there on a regular basis. The tomb of Nefertiti remains undiscovered as well, so there are still hopes of making a major discovery. As someone who has been to Egypt on more than one occasion, I can tell you that the country is well worth visiting even without a major new discovery. It is a great place for an adventure and I found it completely safe when I was there in 2015.

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