Turin Polytechnic search for hidden Tutankhamun tombs

ROME – Scholars from the Polytechnic University of Turin have finally begun the search for hidden chambers in the tomb of Tutankhamun, after the Egyptian government delayed the decision for a year.  

 It follows tantalising results from a previous set of tests in May 2017, which according to Professor Franco Porcelli of the university, “suggested the presence of suspicious cavities.” The latest round of tests will be used to cross-check those results.  

 On Wednesday, the team began using three different geo-radar tests to map the tomb, labelled KV62 in the Valley of the Kings. They will continue working until Feb 6 and the results should allow the team to assess with 99% accuracy whether there are further chambers.

 Their initial studies were driven by the theories of Nicholas Reeves, an Egyptologist who proposed that Tutankhamun’s tomb could likely be part of bigger tomb complex, perhaps that of Queen Nefertiti who ruled alongside her husband between the years 1353 and 1336 BC.

 Reeves painstakingly analysed the burial chamber with 3D data that suggested the presence of two sealed doors in KV62.

 Tutankhamun’s reign was shortly after that of Nerfertiti, in the period known as the New Kingdom. He became globally famous after his tomb was discovered nearly intact by Howard Carter in 1922. His burial mask is one of the centrepieces of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

 The current investigations are being carried out with the assistance of private companies. 3DGeoimaging, based in Turin, and Geostudi Astier, in Livorno and Terravision, a British firm, are all lending expertise. National Geographic are among the sponsors of the project.