History Lovers Note: The Lost Queen Found
A British Egyptologist thinks he may have made the most important discovery since King Tut.
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Students who love history know that discoveries document time. Students of 2015 need to recall significant events to make connections and learn.
One such notable connection is currently being explored in the news. Since the discovery of the tomb of the Boy King of Egypt, King Tutankhamen (better known as King Tut) in 1922, interest in the world of Ancient Egypt has exploded from a small spark to raging wild fire of curiosity and discovery. And now, a possible breakthrough could lead to another incredible discovery to rival that of the Boy King: the tomb of his mother, the most beautiful woman in all of Egypt, Queen Neferneferuaten Nefertiti.
But before we discuss the possible (keyword: possible) discovery of Queen Nefertiti, we first need some background information. King Tutankhamen was the son of King Akhenaten, who ruled as pharaoh during Egypt’s 18th dynasty (his reign lasted from roughly 1353 to 1336 BCE). Tut’s mother was likely his father’s favorite and primary wife Nefertiti, though it could have been any one of his father’s many wives. After Akhenaten died in 1336 BCE, 9-year-old Tutankhamen technically became king, but all political power would be the responsibility of Nefertiti until Tut came of age. Sometime after Tut did come to actual power, Nefertiti simply disappeared, and neither her mummy or tomb have ever been recovered.
Over the years, there have been many theories regarding the location of the remains of the Lost Queen, and multiple claims she has been found. All previous leads, however, have been disproven or disregarded. But now, British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, believes his theory just might check out.
In what some might call a far-fetched hypothesis, Reeves believes Tut’s tomb was not even meant for Tut. He says that the tomb discovered in 1922 was likely meant for Nefertiti, and that Tut was simply placed there because the sudden nature of his death and the lack of alternative resting places thereafter. He believes that what we know as Tut’s tomb may simply be a few chambers in what is really a larger tomb that may still hold Nefertiti.
Reeves sites multiple clues to support his theory that the tomb was originally that of Nefertiti, from the femininity of the death mask to inscriptions of Tut’s name that obviously used to say something else. But one clue bears a little more weight. In a news conference held in Cairo, Reeves said “The digital scanning of surfaces… has revealed the seeming presence of two intact doorways.. More extraordinary still, it looks as if one of these doorways may lead to the burial [chamber]of Nefertiti herself”.
Though many have doubts as to whether the tomb is actually that of the Lost Queen, or that it even exists, this incredible saga is sure to be continued over the next few months as Egyptian officials permit more tests done and, eventually, allow Reeves to prove his theory and make the most important discovery since that of King Tutankhamen himself.