Infrared scans of King Tutankhamen's burial chamber hint at more mysteries in the boy king's final resting place.
An international team has completed scans of the interior of Tutankhamen’s tomb using infrared thermography in an effort to locate any remaining hidden chambers.
After spending 24 hours conducting experiments, the team, consisting of Cairo University’s Faculty of Engineering and the Heritage, Innovation, and Preservation Organisation from Paris, located a anomaly in the northern wall. A portion of the wall seems to be cooler than the area around it. This suggests that there may be air behind the wall, instead of rock or soil, that may lead to another, hitherto unknown, chamber.
Earlier this year, Nicholas Reeves, director of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project and a senior archaeologist at the University of Arizona, initially suggested that evidence for hidden chambers within the boy king’s tomb existed. Reeves claims that high-res images taken of the north and west walls seemed to reveal doorways which had been covered over.
Reeves took a step further saying the hidden doorways may lead to the burial chamber of Tut’s alleged mother, Nefertiti. Reeves alleges that Tut’s sudden death before the completion of his own tomb forced him to be buried inside the tomb of his mother.
Although his theory may have initially been mistaken for a plot point in a new Indiana Jones film, the infrared scans appear to give some credence to his idea. Whether or not these camouflaged doorways hold the remains of one of ancient Egypt’s most famous queens remains to be seen.
Further scans are needed to confirm and locate the position of the temperate difference and researchers are hopeful that the project will continue and prove fruitful.
The experiments in King Tut’s tomb are part of a greater effort by the Ministry of Antiquities to conduct state of the art analyses of Egypt’s historical sites labeled the Scan Pyramids project.