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Nefertiti tomb search under way amid claims it is hidden near Tutankhamun

Published 01/10/2015

Nicholas Reeves, right, speaks during a press conference in Cairo, Egypt. (AP)
Nicholas Reeves, right, speaks during a press conference in Cairo, Egypt. (AP)

Egypt's authorities have promised swift action to search for Queen Nefertiti's tomb following claims it could be in a hidden chamber behind Tutankhamun.

The theory, presented by British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, speculates that King Tut, who died at the age of 19, may have been rushed into an outer chamber of what was originally Nefertiti's tomb.

Since the 1922 discovery of King Tut's 3,300-year-old pharaonic mausoleum in the Valley of the Kings near the city of Luxor, his tomb has become the focus of attention for archaeologists worldwide - and one of Egypt's prime tourist draws.

Antiquities minister Mamdouh el-Damaty says the radar equipment could be obtained and be at the site within three months, or perhaps as early as November, for the 93rd anniversary of the discovery of Tut's tomb.

He told reporters in Cairo that plans are being finalised and he believes the radar equipment "will confirm whether there's something" there.

Archaeologists are yet to find the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, known for her beauty and famous since her bust was discovered in 1912, now on display at the Neues Museum in Berlin.

Mr Reeves believes the walls of King Tut's tomb could conceal two unexplored doorways, one of which could lead to Nefertiti's tomb.

His theory has reinvigorated the search for Nefertiti, who was also the primary wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten, widely believed to have been Tut's father.

Mr Reeves also speculates that, if he is right, the hidden chamber could hold undiscovered artefacts.

Mr el-Damaty told reporters in Cairo that a plan would be presented "immediately" for non-invasive radar equipment.

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