Published September 27, 2017
A tomb that may have belonged to the wife of King Tutankhamun has been discovered in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, according to archaeologists.
Archaeologist Zahi Hawass told LiveScience that the tomb is located near the tomb of the Pharaoh Ay. Hawass and his team plan to excavate the newly-discovered tomb.
"We are sure there is a tomb there, but we do not know for sure to whom it belongs," Hawass told LiveScience, via email.
Hawass, the former head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, says that the tomb may belong to Ankhesenamun, half-sister and wife of Tutankhamun. Ankhesenamun, who lived in the 14th century B.C., married Ay after Tutankhamun’s death so her tomb may be located near the Pharaoh’s, according to Hawass.
The discovery was reported by National Geographic Italia earlier this month, according to LiveScience.
Hawass cited the discovery of “four foundation deposits” as evidence of the tomb. Foundation deposits, he told LiveScience, are holes filled with votive objects such as pottery vessels and food remains.
King Tutankhamun continues to be a source of fascination for historians. The possibility that the boy king's tomb contains hidden chambers, for example, has prompted searches for the secret rooms, but remains a contentious topic for archaeologists.
In 2015, British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves put forward the theory that Tutankhamun’s tomb contains two hidden doorways. The “ghosts” of the hitherto unrecognized doorways could lead to an unexplored western storage chamber and Queen Nefertiti’s final resting place behind the chamber’s northern wall, he said.
Mystery surrounds the remains of the famous Queen Nefertiti, who was one of the wives of Tutankhamun’s father, the Pharaoh Akhenaten.
Scans conducted in 2015 suggested Tutankhamun’s tomb contains two open spaces, although a radar scan organized by National Geographic last year failed to replicate the results.
Some archaeologists also believe the mummy of Nefertiti, fabled for her beauty, has already been found in a different tomb.
Hawass has rejected the theory that undiscovered chambers lie behind the tomb and likely contain the tomb of Queen Nefertiti.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.