Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut, is perhaps the most famous of Ancient Egypt's pharaohs, due in large part to the 1922 discovery of his nearly intact tomb. Now that tomb has become the source of renewed curiosity after a new analysis has revealed the possibility of additional hidden chambers within it, reports Phys.org.
King Tut's tomb, though elaborately decorated, is small considering Tut's status, which has led to speculation among Egyptologists that it was originally intended as a grander royal tomb, perhaps for someone else. Since Tut died at such a young age, 19, it's possible that his burial was rushed and that his tomb merely represents the outer chamber of a more extensive mausoleum.
According to British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, recent high-resolution images of the tomb reveal what appear to be straight lines that were previously hidden by color and the stones' texture. Lines such as these could indicate the presence of a sealed chamber.
Reeves believes this hidden chamber may even house the remains of another of Egypt's storied characters, Nefertiti, the Egyptian queen known for her exceptional beauty, and recognized by her famous 3,300-year-old bust.
Nefertiti was the primary wife of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, who was Tut's father. Akhenaten was succeeded by a pharaoh referred to as Smenkhare until Tut eventually took over. Interestingly, some Egyptologists, including Reeves, suspect that Smenkhare was really Nefertiti, adding to the historical intrigue of this legendary royal family.
Researchers have said there's a 90 percent chance that there are hidden chambers in Tut's tomb, which means there's almost certainly more to this story than originally believed.
The findings could even stir up old rumors about the "curse of the pharaohs," which is believed to haunt those who disturb ancient Egyptian tombs. This fable is most associated with the original excavation of King Tut's tomb, which saw several of the researchers who first entered the tomb meet early deaths. Although later statistical analysis found no direct connection between these deaths and entry into the tomb, any eerie coincidences surrounding further exploration of the tomb could certainly entertain further speculation.