Nefertiti’s Chamber – Hype and Conspiracy?

Queen Nefertiti Has Never Been Found

Why The Controversy About Her Tomb?

Egypt’s tourism industry has hit an all-time low since the revolution in 2011 and subsequent terrorist attacks.  Fortunately, a timely discovery was made last year. Chambers and doorways were revealed on a ground-penetrating radar scan behind the ornately painted wall of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, and the Egyptian ministry of antiquities is reporting that there is a 90% chance that Queen Nefertiti’s burial chamber lies there. But does it, really, or is this just a way to drum up some much needed attention and tourism?

Nefertiti's Burial Chamber

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for destroying Metrojet Flight 9268 over the Sinai on 31 October 2015. (KHALED DESOUKIAFP/Getty Images)

Egypt’s ministry released the results on March 17 of the scan that was conducted by Hirokatsu Watanabe, who belongs to a Japanese company. Nicholas Reeves, Egyptologist and director of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project, is famous for his excavations in the Valley of the Kings. Reeves is at the forefront of the controversy, and he also strongly holds that Queen Nefertiti, step-mother of Tutankhamun, appears to be buried somewhere behind Tutankhamun’s tomb.

However, many experts around the world have been consulted and most dispute the published findings. Although scientists have urged the Egyptian ministry to release the raw data of the scan, the ministry is not complying, thus denying experts the ability to analyze the raw data to draw a conclusion. Even the premiere expert on ground-penetrating radar, Lawrence Conyers, says of the reports, “This is just blowing smoke.” Additional recent scanning by National Geographic has shown absolutely no evidence showing secret chambers or doors, according to Live Science, which claims to have spoken to anonymous sources. But the Egyptian ministry refuses to accept this.

Nefertiti's Burial Chamber

If Nefertiti’s burial chamber is discovered, it will most likely be much more grand than King Tuts. Image: Sat Ra [CC-BY-SA-3.0]

Interestingly, National Geographic had to make an agreement with Egypt’s antiquities ministry that they would not release the results of the scan to the media. Is this just in case the outcome is not in their favor?It should be noted that the ministry, formerly called the Supreme Council of Antiquities, holds all the power in issuing permits for study, research, and excavations at any archeological site. In other words, anyone wanting to conduct site research or excavations has to go through the ministry first.

At a recent conference in Egypt, Reeves and Watanabe were allowed to report their results and theories, but the National Geographic team was not permitted to share their findings. Hmm.

However, Reeves has been involved in more than just archeology lately. It seems he has taken on a role of “Promoter of Tourism and Economics.” In an article published March 25, 2016, Reeves told the New York Times:

For anyone interested in Egyptian history, this is the time to plan a trip, because you’re not going to get jostled by others the way you would have pre-revolution. And, it’s also a more affordable destination because prices have dropped.

Nicholas Reeves

He goes on even to suggest an itinerary of the most worthwhile sites to see.

Nefertiti's Burial Chamber

Is Queen Nefertiti’s burial chamber somewhere behind these walls or is it a ploy to bring tourism back to Egypt? Image: CHRIS BOURONCLE, AFP, GETTY IMAGES

Have they found the much sought burial chamber of the most beautiful queen of all of ancient Egypt, or is this a charade designed to play on hopes of finding treasures and ancient discoveries in order compel us to leave the security of our homes to visit the Valley of the Kings?

If it turns out that Queen Nefertiti is indeed buried somewhere behind Tutankhamun’s tomb, it will certainly be, as the ministry stated, the “find of the century.”


Supreme Council of Antiquities
Live Science
Live Science
The New York Times
The Telegraph

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Kimberly Lin

Kimberly's number one passion is bringing history to the world, and she has written for various websites since 2011. She spent several years living in Italy and her travels in Europe and Asia have given her a keen interest in archaeology, world history, and culture. Cooking and running in the sand with her beloved mutt are among her favorite pastimes.

Historic Mysteries