The Great Tutankhamen Hoax - Was the Tomb of King Tut Faked?
Tutankhamen, the boy king whose tomb was famously discovered in 1922 by Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, is arguably the most famous pharaoh in Egyptian history. Every child and adult alike has heard about King Tut, and Carter and Carnarvon have both gone down in history and folklore due to the artefacts they uncovered in the Valley of the Kings. And today, just years away from the 100 year anniversary of the discovery, we continue to learn more and more about the finds. But when you put the information together, when you logically look at the tomb of King Tut, something is clearly very wrong and I’m not talking about the fabled curse. Far from being the greatest historical discovery of all time, have we actually been taken in by greatest historical hoax of all time?
New search for hidden chambers in King Tut’s tomb underway WILL a new survey of Tutankhamun’s tomb expose an ancient plot to erase a heretic queen from history? Archaeologists are right now digging to expose the truth.
An interior view of the King Tutankhamun burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt. British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves believesa hidden chamber could be the last resting place of Queen Nefertiti, King Tut's mother-in-law.
THE controversy has been boiling away at the heart of Egyptian archaeology since 2015: does the famous tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun conceal another?
Were the fabulously wealthy chambers uncovered by Howard Carter in 1922 just a few ‘repurposed’ rooms from a much larger structure?
Was Tutankhamun’s hasty burial part of a 3300 year-old religious plot to erase all memory of his stepmother, the heretical queen Nefertiti, from history?
The tomb of Tutankhamun, who ruled Egypt more than 3000 years ago, is situated in the Valley of the Kings, located on the west bank of the Nile river in Luxor.
For many, Tutankhamun embodies ancient Egypt’s glory because his tomb was packed with the glittering wealth of the rich 18th Dynasty from 1569 to 1315BC.
His stepmother, Queen Nefertiti, holds equal fascination due to the amazing beauty of a statue depicting her face — and the fact she ruled alongside the heretical Pharaoh Akenaten who attempted to overthrow Egypt’s pantheon of gods in favour of a radical new monotheistic religion.
This illustration shows the layout of the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, along with two further possible undiscovered chambers (shadowed). A MYSTERY EMERGES
An incredibly detailed laser scan of the immensely popular tomb in 2009 sparked the debate. It was intended to enable a millimetre-perfect reconstruction of the structure to be rebuilt in an above surface museum. Its popularity with tourists was beginning to take a toll on the ancient artworks.
But academics also scoured the 3D images for clues as to the tomb’s construction and how the paintings were applied.
British archaeologist Dr Nicholas Reeves thought he saw evidence of depressions in the walls — traces of what he was convinced were hastily filled-in and painted-over doorways. He tied the find to a pet theory of his — that much of King Tutankhamun’s treasure had originally belonged to Queen Nefertiti.
It seemed to fit. Tutankhamun’s tomb does not match the established pattern for pharaoh tombs. It is too small. It has an orientation more commonly associated with those of queens.
Further examinations revealed discrepancies in the ways Tut’s burial chamber had been plastered and painted.
Was the remains of Nefertiti’s lost tomb somewhere behind it all?
The FactumArte 3D laser scan of King Tut’s burial chamber that sparked the controversy.
“The implications are extraordinary: for, if digital appearance translates into physical reality, it seems we are now faced not merely with the prospect of a new, Tutankhamun-era storeroom to the west; to the north appears to be signalled a continuation of tomb ... and within these uncharted depths an earlier royal interment — that of Nefertiti herself, celebrated consort, coregent, and eventual successor of pharaoh Akhenaten,” Reeves wrote at the time.
But finding out would entail destroying the paintings on Tut’s burial chamber walls.
This was never going to happen.
So Egyptologists turned to technology.
THE QUEST SO FAR
The first test was conducted in November 2015. An infra-red thermography scan of Tut’s burial chamber revealed enticing temperature differences in the north wall — indicating inconsistencies in the structure behind the paintwork.
A follow-up scan was made a month later by celebrity radar technician Hirokatsu Watanabe. He claimed his scan of the walls of the tomb revealed wonderful things lurking behind them.
He reportedly claimed he had “90 per cent certainty” that his radar echoes had detected the presence of hollow chambers — and metallic objects.
The world responded with excitement.
What great treasures were there to be found? Would the full story of Queen Nefertiti finally be told?
But to academics, his survey was unconvincing.
Japanese radarologist Hirokatsu Watanabe’s radar scan results, top, and his interpretation of their data. Academics were unconvinced.
The images of his radar echoes simply displayed a mass of blue, green and white dots — with a few red ones thrown in for good measure.
Watanabe refused to comply with scientific norms and publish his data for peer review.
So a second radar scan was initiated in April 2016 and its findings later presented to a conference in Cairo.
While the results were largely kept secret, the outcome was clearly disappointing.
“If we had a void, we should have a strong reflection,” geophysicist Dean Goodman of GPR-Slice software told National Geographic News. “But it just doesn’t exist.”
Egypt’s ministry of antiquities — desperate for a much needed shot-in-the-arm for the nation’s struggling tourism industry — resolved to try again.
Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry says archaeologists started the fresh radar scans of the tomb of famed pharaoh. The scans will be carried out over a week to check for the existence of any hidden chambers behind the tomb.
The new scan involves experts from Britain, Italy and Egypt working with the University of Turin. It’s intended to settle the question once and for all.
The project is expected to be completed by Wednesday this week.
Using a new generation of ground-penetrating radars, the scan hopes to verify the presence — or otherwise — of the supposed concealed doorways.
“In this way, the possible existence of hidden structures of relevance in the archaeological site adjacent to the tomb of Tutankhamun can be established with a 99-per-cent degree of confidence,” says lead investigator Franco Porcelli.
“I’m privileged to be given this opportunity, and I’m privileged to be co-ordinating such a great team,” Porcelli told National Geographic late last week.
It is expected to take at least a fortnight to assess the radar results. If the presence of cavities are confirmed, it will mark the start of a new challenge: how to explore them without damaging Tut’s final resting place.
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