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. A team of Italian researchers plans to open a new investigation into the possibility that his tomb has a secret, hidden chamber, reports Seeker.
In late February 2017, the researchers from the Polytechnic University in Turin plan to enter the tomb and use radar technology that is capable of scanning depths as much as 32 feet. This will be the third probe into the tomb in the past two year.
But the project director physics professor Franco Porcelli told Seeker that this probe will reveal once and for all if King Tut's tomb hides a secret chamber.
"This will be the final investigation," Porcelli said. "We will provide an answer which is 99 percent definitive."
The recent investigations into the tomb were prompted by a 2015 claim by British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves that there was a hidden chamber in the tomb, according to 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.
90 percent chance of hidden chambers
According to Reeves, 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.
Editor's note: This story was originally published in November 2015 and has been updated with new information.