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Ancient Egypt

Queen Nefertiti

A bust of NefertitiA bust of Nefertiti Pharaoh Akhenaten's queen, Nefertiti, whose name means “the beautiful one has come”, was one of the most powerful women in the history of ancient Egypt. She is thought to have reigned alongside her husband, and possibly even ruled Egypt in her own right as pharaoh—under the name of Neferneferuaten—for a short time after his death. It is unlikely that Nefertiti was the mother of Tutankhamun. More likely he was the child of a marriage between Akhenaten and a “lesser wife”—probably Akhenaten’s sister. Nefertiti is believed to have died in around 1334 BC, about six or seven years before the date of Tutankhamun's death, at the age of around 40. Mystery surrounds the whereabouts of her tomb. She may well have been buried first at Akhetaten (Amarna), then moved—possibly on the orders of Tutankhamun himself—to the Valley of the Kings, the traditional burial place of the pharaohs and their queens.

The bricked-up door is indicated by the red lineThe bricked-up door is indicated by the red line

A hidden tomb?

English archaeologist Dr Nicholas Reeves of the University of Arizona discovered what he suspected to be secret doorway leading from Tutankhamun's tomb to that of Nefertiti. From his inspection of hi-res scans of the walls of the burial chamber, Dr Reeves said he detected the “ghosts” of two bricked-up doorways, one possibly leading to a store room, the other possibly to Nefertiti’s burial chamber.

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