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Tutankhamun, thick fog on the secret tomb. The new radar scans do not confirm the presence of hidden rooms behind the walls of the tomb. And the debate among experts ignites.

Technicians working on the radar scans in the tomb of Tutankhamen.

 

 

Plot twist at the second annual conference of Tutankhamun which was held last weekend in Cairo.

After a symposium on duct epithets reserved to the young pharaoh, they are flown to far heavier between two former ministers of the Egyptian government, in front of more than a hundred people have accused each other of wanting to disfigure the archaeological heritage of their country.

The reason of the conflict is, of course, the tomb of Tutankhamen. For months, it is assumed that behind the burial chamber can be hidden secret rooms that would host other royal burials.

But – here’s the news revealed at the conference – the two different radar scans surveys have produced contradictory results. “We have no conclusive evidence,” said Khaled El-Enany, the new Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, announced the formation of a committee of experts to decide on the next steps (probably a new round of tests with radar or other high-tools technology). “Will Science talk.” The problem is to interpret what they say science and technology.

Brief summary of previous games: last summer, based on a laser scan of the burial chamber of Tutankhamun, the British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves identified on the walls painted traces of what could be walled doors. According to his theory, behind those walls (the north and west) could hide other rooms that contain an additional grave, perhaps even that of Queen Nefertiti (which most historians believe was stepmother of Tutankhamun and his predecessor in the role of Pharaoh).

Thermographic survey and then a first campaign of radar scans seemed to have confirmed the presence of secret rooms (although Egyptologists still consider unlikely to be buried Nefertiti). Hirokatsu Watanabe, the Japanese engineer who conducted the examination at the radar, had even announced that it has identified the presence of organic material in the empty spaces behind the walls.

Mamdouh Eldamaty, Minister of Antiquities at the time, said he was sure “to 90 percent” that at least behind the north wall there was another room. How will it end? Probably the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities will eventually approve a new campaign of scans: after the clash between its predecessors, the new El-Enany Minister announced the appointment of the Expert Committee and assured: “No individual decisions.” All major experts who attended the conference, including Hawass, have called for new investigations. But the story of Tutankhamun’s tomb also highlights the human passions that science and technology can never clear: curiosity and stubbornness, pride and ambition, friendship and mistrust. Among other things, just the Cairo conference has shown that even the simplest technology can fail.

The presentation of Watanabe was almost entirely incomprehensible why his computer could not connect to the auditorium sound system. There were problems with the lights and different computer went crash. Yasser Elsahyeb, a professor of geomechanics at Cairo University, was on the podium and asked an audience member: “Can I use your computer? It seems that it is the only one that works. ” To get up and give him his car was Nicholas Reeves. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

To open the video click on the image, good view from your Alessandro Brizzi.