Archaeological discoveries

Italy resumes radar explorations for the search for possible unknown cavities in the tomb of Tutankhamen

Researchers from the Polytechnic of Turin have been authorized to carry out new radar analyzes in the tomb of Tutankhamun, in the Valley of the Kings, in Luxor, Egypt.

Interior of the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun (KV62), in the Valley of the Kings, near Thebes, Egypt.

Here we go again to search for an unknown cavity in the tomb of the famous pharaoh Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings! The Egyptian government has just given the green light to a team of researchers from the archaeo-physics department of the Polytechnic School of Turin (Italy) to carry out new radar analyzes in the hypogeum called "KV 62", that of the young sovereign of the 18 th dynasty in Luxor (Egypt). According to a dispatch from the Italian press agency Ansa from January 30, 2018, these explorations began on January 31, 2018 and should continue until February 6 inclusive. As Sciences et Avenir already announced in February 2017, this Italian team must definitely check whether "empty spaces or hidden corridors are behind the walls of Tutankhamun's burial chamber .

General view of the Valley of the Kings, on the west bank of the Nile. © Leemage/AFP

To understand, we must remember the media madness that accompanied the first thermal analyzes as well as the ground-penetrating radar examinations carried out in March 2016 in the royal burial chamber, first by the Japanese specialist Hirokatsu Watanabe, then by a team American from the National Geographic Society. These two expertises having delivered contradictory results, these new investigations entrusted to Franco Porcelli, professor of physics in the department of applied sciences and technology of the Polytechnic University of Turin, aim to verify the theory put forward by the British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves on the possible presence of unknown chambers that may contain another royal burial. In this case, to conceal the remains of Queen Nefertiti, the wife of Akhenaten, father of Tutankhamun. Hypothesis that other specialists contest.

According to Franco Porcelli, the hardware used will consist of next-generation radar technologies that could prove the possible existence of hidden structures “with 99% reliability ". During soil resistivity measurements that he carried out over the previous months outside the Royal Tomb, the presence of suspicious cavities would have been reported a few meters from KV62. However, the Valley of the Kings being riddled with natural cracks, great caution accompanies these remarks. In addition to researchers from the Polytechnic of Turin, also collaborating in this project, according to the Ansa dispatch, "two private Italian companies, 3D Geoimaging and Geostudi Astier, as well as Terravision, in Great Britain, and Egyptian specialists from the Cairo Archeology Center .