The famous Egyptologist Zahi Hawass believes he has located a new tomb in the Valley of the Kings. It could be the tomb of Ankhésenamon, the wife of Tutankhamen …
NECROPOLIS. A new mystery? Egyptologists believe they have located an unknown tomb in the Valley of the Kings, the Theban necropolis on the west bank of the Nile near Luxor, Egypt.
According to Zahi Hawass, the famous Egyptian archaeologist, former head of the Supreme Council of Egyptian Antiquities (2002-2011) and ex-minister of state, this could be the final home of Ankhésenamon, the „great royal wife“ and sister of Tutankhamen, ruler of the XVIII th dynasty (1570-1293). This is only a hypothesis, published in July 2017 in an interview with the Italian edition of National Geographic.
It is based on recent radar detections carried out between February and May 2017 by a team of Italian specialists in Livorno under the supervision of Ahmed El-Laithy, Director of the Mallawi Museum in Al-Minya, Egypt.
These exploratory drill holes – Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) electrical resistivity measurements – were interpreted as the possible subterranean entry of a burial chamber in the western valley, in an area where Zahi Hawass had already identified „Foundation deposits“ in 2009: these elements of pottery and other votive objects were deposited by the ancient Egyptians during rituals before each important construction.
„We are sure there is a grave there, but we do not know for sure who it belongs to,“ said Zahi Hawass, more cautious, at Live Science on July 18, 2017 . The hypothesis that it could be Ankhesenamon was born from its proximity to the tomb of the pharaoh Aÿ (KV 23), successor of Tutankhamun.
The young queen had indeed married Aÿ after the sudden death of her first husband, the young Pharaoh with the golden mask, then 19 years old (1324 BC). But not all experts agree. The succession of Tutankhamun is indeed one of the most obscure in the history of ancient Egypt.
„The clues that Ankhésenamon was the“ Wife of Aÿ are very tenuous. The ring of earthenware with the name of coronation of Aÿ and that of Ankhésenamon is insufficient to affirm that there was „marriage“. This „association“ may simply be related to Tutankhamun’s funeral. According to the inscriptions found in the monuments dating from his reign, Aÿ had only one wife, Tey „, reminds the Egyptologist Marc Gabolde, lecturer at the Paul Valéry University.
Excavations could nevertheless be authorized soon to verify the possible presence of a hypogeum. These geophysical investigations carried out under the auspices of the Department of Applied Sciences of the Turin University of Technology (Italy) are directly related to research into the possible presence of an unknown cavity in the tomb of Tutankhamen.