By Rohan Smith
IN the walls of the tomb where King Tutankhamun was discovered is, according to experts, the “greatest antiquities discovery of all time”. There’s just one problem — getting to it is almost impossible.
Experts in recent months made a discovery they say will change history. Using detailed scans for the first time, they watched temperatures change in different parts of the tomb, deep inside the Valley of the Kings. They say concealed in the walls are two sealed doors. Behind them could be Queen Nefertiti’s tomb and riches the likes of which the world has never seen.
Michael Usher and the 60 Minutes crew flew to Egypt and saw for themselves what the greatest minds on the topic say is a game-changer.
Queen Nefertiti is an Egyptian queen renowned for her beauty who ruled ancient Egypt during the mid-1300s B.C. She ruled alongside Pharaoh Akhenaten.
King Tut was discovered in 1922 more than 3000 years after the young king was laid to rest. More than 64 other tombs have been discovered in the region but Nefertiti’s resting place remains a mystery. Perhaps not for long.
“Egyptologists say there will be major discoveries made this year,” Usher told news.com.au. “These discoveries are big. (If true), this will be the greatest antiquities discovery of all time.”
News began filtering out of Giza in February, 2014. University of Arizona archeologist Nicholas Reeves claimed to have found the queen’s tomb, hiding in plain sight.
National Geographic wrote that Reeves made the discovery using detailed scans inside Tutankhamun’s tomb which appeared to show two previously undiscovered doors on the tomb’s north and west walls.
One is fit for a queen, researchers say. The other is much smaller. So why not go in and find out once and for all? Because the location of the tomb is behind walls covered with detailed paintings, themselves a relic that should remain untouched.
“Late last year, Egypt announced they believed there are hidden chambers behind the tomb,” Usher said.
“Now they have to prove it, which means drilling through the wall and through the murals which are priceless. How do you ruin those just to see what’s there? What if it’s nothing? It’s a great dilemma.”
He said inside Egypt, a country tourists have shunned in recent years due to political unrest, there’s great criticism over the plans, dubbed the Scanned Pyramids Project. Authorities need to know for sure what’s back there before they can even consider going in for a closer look.
Inside Tutankhamun’s tomb, Usher said he was transported back to another time.
“It’s an extraordinary journey. I was left speechless. I was standing in the tomb of Tut and the mummy is there. You’re frozen in time and I can see why (Egyptologists) become obsessed.”
The television crew were given rare access to film inside the tomb. They were accompanied by guide Dr Zahi Hawass, a man Usher says knows more about ancient Egypt than anybody else.
The visit precedes new scans scheduled to take place in April. From there, experts will examine the findings and the government will make a decision on where to go next.
“It’s one hell of a bunfight,” Usher said. “Now they’ve got the information, who will be the person brave enough to potentially find unbelievable history?”
Alexandria to Aswan
Joanna Lumley follows the Nile through Egypt capturing the spirit of Agatha Christie in Cairo and later on a Nile cruise. She travels along the Nile by train, road and Felucca barge, discovering life as it is today along one of the world’s greatest rivers.