The unprecedented news comes following a leading Archaeologist’s claim that his team is just days away from discovering the tomb of Queen Nerfertiti, the step-mother of Tutankhamun. The bold claims came during Dr Zahi Hawass’ latest exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London.

Dr Hawass, 72, is the Egyptologist leading the largest excavation in the Valley of the Kings since the 1920s.

He said the main aim of the unearthing was to discover Queen Nefertiti’s tomb.

Speaking to the Daily Star Online, Dr Hawass said the discovery of the Queen’s tomb would be remarkable considering the time lapsed since her death – over 3,000 years ago.

Nefertiti died in 1330 BCE, and had ruled between 1353 to 1336, or 1351 to 1334.

She was married to Tutankhamen’s father, Akhenaten, and was one of four wives during his lifetime.

Dr Hawass said: “All of the Queens that were buried in the 18th Dynasty were buried in this valley and I’m hoping, since my excavation is the largest after Howard Carter, I’m hoping to discover a royal tomb soon.

“I think something soon will happen behind the tomb of Bereibita, we are expecting something in a week or so.”

The archaeologist was speaking at the launch of the Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharoh exhibition.

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This made Nefertiti his mother-in-law as well as his step-mum.

Nefertiti disappeared from history books for years before being reinstated after a sculpture of her head was discovered in 1912.

The Bust of Nefertiti is a painted stucco-coated limestone sculpted head of the queen.

It is thought to have been created in 1345 BCE by the sculptor Thutmose, after being found in his workshop in Amarna, Egypt.

A team led by the German archaeologist, Ludwig Borchardt, unearthed the bust and transported it to Germany, where it has since been kept at various location such as the cellar of a German bank and a salt mine in Merkers-Kieselbach, central Germany.

Its present location is in Neues Museum, Berlin.

The bust has been the subject of intense argument between Germany and Egypt.

The latter demands its repatriation, beginning in 1924 when the nation called for its property back.

Archeological finds discovered by Europeans in the 18th and 19th century have been the focus of contention after many nations of origin now pile on the pressure to have pieces of their history returned.

Fierce debate has surrounded the Rosetta Stone following its discovery by French soldiers in 1799; eventually transferring to British hands in years that would prove fatal to Napoleon Bonaparte’s grip over Europe and large parts of northern Africa.

The Rosetta Stone, inscribed in Ancient Egyptian and hieroglyphic and demotic scrips, while also including traces of Ancient Greek, is on display at the British Museum and is considered a flagship piece of its collection.

Though Egypt has renewed its campaign to reclaim the stone, and hopes to do so in the near future.



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