Last fall, a team of Egyptologists discovered signs that there may be a series of hidden chambers connected to King Tutankhamun’s tomb — hints that were revealed in minute irregularities revealed in high-resolution 3D reproductions of the famous vault. Since then, deeper scans of the wall and the volume behind it have been made, revealing the previously undiscovered chambers there.
Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty made the announcement at a press conference on Mar 17, including a presentation of the radar scans. However, he declined to speculate on what they might find there, although he admitted that the rooms could hold metal or organic objects.
There is speculation that the hidden rooms may include the undiscovered tomb of Queen Nefertiti, suspected by scholars to be Tutankhamun’s stepmother, and wife to the pharaoh Akhenaten. Tutankhamun died when he was only 19 years old, and an emergency tomb may have been fashioned out of the outer chambers of his mother’s own crypt. But, despite this speculation, researchers are cautious about getting their hopes up.
"Quite often, people have done these sorts of scans, and when actually investigated, things have turned out to be nothing like predicted," explains University of Bristol archaeologist Aidan Dodson. "If they are chambers, most likely they’d be filled with more funeral objects of Tutankhamun, possibly including some gilded statuettes of gods, or perhaps even the mummy of a young child who predeceased Tut."