King Tut Died Long Ago, but the Debate About His Tomb Rages On

“There would have been no reason to include a depiction of this predecessor’s burial in Tutankhamun’s own tomb,” Dr. Reeves said. “In fact, the presence of this scene identifies Tutankhamun’s tomb as the burial place of that predecessor, and that it was within her outer chambers that the young king had, in extremis, been buried.”

Rita Lucarelli, an Egyptology curator at the University of California, Berkeley, said she had been following Dr. Reeves’s old and new claims with interest. “If he is right, it would be an amazing discovery because the tomb of Nefertiti would be intact, too,” she said. “But maybe even if there is a tomb there, it’s not that of Nefertiti, rather of another individual related to Tut. We simply cannot know it unless we dig through the bedrock.”

The problem, Dr. Lucarelli said, is finding a way to drill through the decorated north wall without destroying it. “This is also why other archaeologists do not sympathize with this theory,” she said.

Dr. Reeves’s unsympathetic colleagues are legion.

“Nick is flogging a dead horse in his theories,” Aidan Dodson, an Egyptologist at the University of Bristol, said. “He has provided no clear proof that the cartouches have been altered, and his iconographic arguments as to the faces on the wall have been rejected by pretty well every other Egyptologist I know of who is qualified to take a view.”

Dr. Cooney, whose book “When Women Ruled The World” argues that Nefertiti may have been Tut’s grandmother, is one of Dr. Reeves’s few champions. “I am not one of the many scholars laughing behind their hands,” she said. “Nick’s theory is brilliant but easily discounted in a very political and nationalistic Egypt that has refused to give permits to Western scholars who disagree with the party line. Maybe there’s nothing beyond the north wall of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Maybe it’s Al Capone’s safe. But if there is something there, this could potentially be the discovery of the millennium.”

At least part of the backlash against Dr. Reeves’s ideas can be traced to the politics of heritage. The narrative that Tutankhamun’s tomb was unearthed by the heroic English archaeologist Howard Carter has long been openly challenged by Egyptians, who took the discovery as a rallying cry to end 1920s British rule and establish a modern Egyptian identity. Among Egyptologists today, the hot topics include the decolonization of the field and more inclusive and equitable accounts of Egyptian team members involved in archaeological excavations.

Sahred From Source link Science

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