Find of the Century: Queen Nefertiti’s Long-Lost Tomb Discovered
Archaeologist and former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs of Egypt Zahi Hawass says that they have found the mummy of Queen Nefertiti.
Nefertiti was the queen during Egypt’s 18th dynasty (1300 BC). In this era, Egypt was at its most prosperous and powerful. Nefertiti was renowned for her beauty, which was captured in an iconic bust, now in the Neues Museum in Germany. However, Nefertiti was most famous for her marriage to the controversial pharaoh Akhenaten. The two attempted to reform the Egyptian religion by introducing a monotheistic religion to Egypt, based on the singular worship of the sun god Aten.
Nefertiti may have continued to reign for a couple of years after her husband Akhenaten’s death. Afterward, however, the next pharaoh, Tutankhamun, restored polytheism to Egypt.
Tutankhamun, popularly known as King Tut, was the son of Akhenaten and another wife. Nefertiti was his stepmother. Tut eventually married his half-sister, Ankhesenamun, who was Nefertiti’s daughter.
For the past seven years, archaeologists claimed to have found Nefertiti’s tomb. There were several cases of mistaken identity. Nothing was confirmed. Until, apparently, now.
Hawass currently leads excavations in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, where they uncovered two mummies, denoted KV21A and KV21B, in one tomb at the eastern end of the valley. This is not unusual: Many tombs in the Valley of the Kings hold several mummies. But these two are special.
“In October,” he promises, “we will be able to announce the discovery of the mummy of Ankhesenamun, Tutankhamun’s wife, and her mother Nefertiti.”
The archaeological world waits expectantly, hoping for confirmation of the find of the century.