More than 10 hours of scans in the tomb of King Tutankhamun have yet to confirm the existence of hidden rooms. On Thursday (31 March 2016), scientists conducted the most extensive radar data collection so far in the funeral chamber. More than 40 scans are currently being cleaned up and analysed by three different international teams, but it will take days before they reveal anything definitive.
This radar exploration is only the latest step in an exploration process that has begun last September. Archaeologists and radar technologists have been working together to determine if King Tut's funeral chamber contains secret voids behind its Northern and Western walls.
Despite the large amount of data collected, Egyptian antiquities minister Khaled El-Enany said the research process was likely to keep going for another couple of months. He explained more time was needed to come up with a clear conclusion and that another scan would take place at the end of April. This time, scientists are to conduct what they call "vertical radar scans" on the hill of Tutankhamun's tomb, which would allow them to explore features of the chamber deep under the ground.
"There is something behind the walls, but we do not know what yet. We are following a scientific procedure, and we are not looking for secret chambers but for reality and the truth", he said during a press conference on 1 April 2016.
"Still believe Nefertiti is buried inside the tomb"
Standing with him was Nicholas Reeves, the British scientist who first hypothesised that the tomb was hiding additional chambers. Last August, he said he believed that high-resolution pictures of Tutankhamun's burial monument revealed the existence of a possible secret passageway in which his stepmother, the famous Queen Nefertiti, could herself be buried.
"It has been an interesting and eventful six months. More research is needed and we need to do a complete analysis of the forty scans, but I still believe Nefertiti lies buried behind the north wall", Reeves said.
On 8 May 2016, Egypt Antiquities Ministry will organise an international conference for scientists from all around the world to discuss the result. If they have enough evidence, they might then take steps to prepare for a physical exploration of the tomb.