Standing before the majestic gold, ochre and white frescos of Tutankhamun’s tomb, British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves on Monday passionately defended his daring theory that Nefertiti is buried in a secret chamber.
With the help of a sophisticated radar, Reeves aims to prove Nefertiti is buried there in a hidden chamber of the young pharaoh’s underground tomb that long hid the most fabulous treasure ever discovered in Egypt.
Archaeologists have never discovered the mummy of this legendary beauty who played a major political and religious role in the 14th century BC.
Nefertiti actively supported her husband Akhenaten, the pharaoh who temporarily converted ancient Egypt to monotheism imposing the single cult of sun god Aton.
Reeves’s theory is that Nefertiti is buried in a room adjacent to the tomb of Tutankhamun, the son of Akhenaten.
According to Reeves, the boy king, who died unexpectedly at 19, was buried in a rush in an underground burial chamber that was probably not intended for him.
His death would have forced priests to reopen Queen Nefertiti’s tomb 10 years after her death because the young pharaoh’s own had not yet been built, Reeves said at Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, southern Egypt.
In the burial chamber, just a few steps away from the darkened mummy of the boy king who died in 1324 BC after just nine years on the throne, the archaeologist pointed to a fresco representing Tutankhamun and his successor Ay.
– Radar to scan the walls –
Circled by archaeologists and officials from Egypt’s antiquities department, Minister of Antiquities Mamduh al-Damati listened attentively to the expert from the American University of Arizona as Reeves said the frescos in the chamber could conceal two secret doors.
“The theory is a very good theory but it doesn’t mean it’s true. The best theories don’t always work,” he added with caution, in the midst of the Valley of the Kings where on November 29, 1922 another British Egyptologist, Howard Carter, discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb. . . . .
Archaeologists excavating ancient tombs in central China have unearthed 28 chariots and 49 pairs of horse skeletons dating back three millennia.
The 2,800-year-old group of tombs, which dates back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC) is located in the city of Zaoyang, in the province of Hubei. Current explorations have found at least 30 tombs of various sizes.
Preliminary studies show that the tombs belong to high-ranking nobles of the period in Chinese history.
Now a new 33-meter long, four-meter wide chariot pit has been discovered. “This chariot and horse pit is different from those discovered previously along the Yangtze River. The chariots and horses were densely buried,” said Liu Xu, professor from School ofArchaeology and Museology of Peking University. ” Many of the wheels were taken off and the rest parts of the chariots were placed one by one.”
At least 28 chariots were discovered in three months of excavation. About five meters away the chariot pit was a horse pit, where at least 49 pairs of horse skeletons were discovered.
“Judging from the way the horses were buried, they were buried after they were killed, as there was no trace of struggle. Second, it is the way they were laid. They were laid back to back, lying on their sides. It means that two horses pull one chariot,” said Huang Wenxin, researcher from the provincial archaeological institute. . . .