The use of technology to preserve and discover more about the past.
In summer 2015 archaeologist Nicholas Reeves published his painstakingly detailed observations based on the 3D data recorded by Factum Arte in the Tomb of Tutankhamun in 2009. His thesis is clear- he has identified what seem to be the traces of 2 sealed doors that he believes will lead to the undiscovered tomb of Nefertiti. His idea immediately captured the imagination of millions around the world.
Marked in black the entrance to one of the undiscovered rooms that could be behind the North wall of Tutankhamun's tomb according to Nicholas Reeves’ hypothesis.
It is clear proof of the importance of close-range high-resolution scanning. Without a detailed recording of the surface of the tomb with the relief renderings and the colour images presented in separate layers his observations would not have been possible. The fact that Nicholas was able to spend many hours over several years studying the data with forensic accuracy has been essential.
Read here Nicholas Reeves'paper The Burial of Nefertiti
Marked in yellow the undiscovered rooms as for Reeves' hypothesis
If Nicholas Reeves is right this is an amazingly important discovery that will capture the world’s imagination for many years. If he isn't it will have proved that technology can both reveal and preserve. The Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt has given permission to Nicholas Reeves to do in-place 3D resonances that supports his theories.
North wall, surface relief (positive), showing numbered features, partition walltraces and internal door-frame, in red
On the 6th November a survey of the tomb was conducted using infrared thermography, which measures temperature distributions on a surface. According to Mamdouh el-Damaty, the Minister of Antiquities, “the preliminary analysis indicates the presence of an area different in its temperature than the other parts of the northern wall.” One possible explanation is that the variation in temperature is, in effect, an infrared shadow of an open area behind the wall.
30 September, 2015
CBS News' Alex Ortiz reports from Luxor
CBS News' Alex Ortiz reports from Luxor and interviews archeologist Nicholas Reeves on the hypothesis of Nefertiti's tomb hiding behind King Tut's.
1 October, 2015
International press conference in Cairo
An international press conference has been held by Antiquities Minister Dr. Mamdouh Eldamaty and the British archeologist Nicholas Reeves in Cairo.
The conference aimed at declaring the results of the initial examination works performed inside the tomb of King Tutankhamun at the end of September as an attempt to prove the validity of Reeves' late hypothesis, presuming that Queen Nefertiti is buried inside one of the side chambers of King Tut's Tomb at the Valley of the Kings
3 October, 2015
Nicholas Reeves interviewed by CBC Egypt
Nicholas Reeves interviewed by CBC Egypt on the possible discovery of Queen Nefertiti concealed in King Tut's tomb.
6 November, 2015
Infrared Scans Show Possible Hidden Chamber in King Tut’s Tomb
On the 6th November a survey of the tomb conducted using infrared thermography, which measures temperature distributions on a surface. The preliminary analysis indicates the presence of an area different in its temperature than the other parts of the northern wall. One possible explanation is that the variation in temperature is, in effect, an infrared shadow of an open area behind the wall.
The finding is consistent with the theory of archaeologist Nicholas Reeves. More to follow!
Read here the report on the survey of the 6th November appeared on National Geographic
28 November, 2015
The Search for Queen Nefertiti Enters a New Phase
Evidence grows for hidden chamber in King Tutankhamun's tomb. On Saturday 28th November at a press conference in Luxor British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves announced that after two nights of tests in the Valley of the Kings, new evidence reinforces his theory that undiscovered rooms may lie behind the painted walls. The hidden tomb, he thinks, could belong to Queen Nefertiti. The Factum Arte scans, comments Reeves, portrayed the texture of the walls in black and white, without the distraction of the scenes. On the north and west walls of the burial chamber I've noticed a series of perfectly straight vertical lines that seemed to correspond to the shape of partition walls and doorways.
The Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damati said they are "90% sure" that there is a hidden chamber in King Tutankhamun's tomb. The scans would now be sent to Japan for further analysis and in a month we should know the truth about a possible hidden chamber in King Tutankhamun's tomb.
Mr Damati said this would be only the second intact royal burial site to be discovered in modern times—and it would represent “one of the most important finds of the century.”
After two nights of tests in the Valley of the Kings archaeologists have concluded that preliminary examination of the data provides evidence that
undiscovered rooms may lie behind the painted walls
Read here the report appeared on the National Geographic
Read here the report appeared on the New York Times
Message from Zahi Hawass
Factum Arte is very happy to report that world-renowned archaeologist and former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass posted this message on his Facebook page on the 1st October after the conference in Cairo.
"Tutankhamun and the Valley of the Kings are in the news again. Whatever is or isn't discovered, this story is about the use of technology to preserve and discover more about the past. Find out about the amazing technology used by Factum Arte to scan the tomb!"
This is the video Zahi Hawass shared with his followers
More announcements about the discovery of a new tomb inside Tutankhamun’s tomb appeared in the spanish newspaper ABC and were then syndicated. Blink films screened their documentary King Tut's Tomb: The Hidden Chamber. The documentary, part of which was filmed in Factum Arte, Madrid last year was a synthesis of views about Nicholas Reeves’ recent discovery of a new space behind the North wall of the burial chamber. Ground penetrating radar and thermal tomography tests both seem to imply that his insights, honed with forensic attention to detail as he studied our high-resolution 3D and colour data while working at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, are correct. Factum Arte are sending a team to Luxor at the end of March.
17th March, 2016
Press conference in Cairo
Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities Dr. Mamdouh Eldamaty during the press conference
Image © Ministry of Antiquities
The Ministry of Antiquities Dr. Mamdouh Eldamaty declared the results of analyzing the radar scans performed by Hirokatsu Watanabe the last 26-27 November 2015 that aimed at examining specific walls within the Tomb of Tutankamun using a specially modified ground Penetrating Radar.
Eldamaty declared that results reached by Watanabe suggest the presence of two empty spaces or cavities beyond the decorated North and West walls of the Burial Chamber.
Within those cavities, added Eldamaty, analyzed data suggest the presence of metallic and organic substances. Those results, as Watanabe suggests, coincide with the supplementary elements of the KV 62 ground plan recently proposed by Dr. Nicholas Reeves.
1st April, 2016
Dr. Khaled El Anany (appointed as new Minister of Antiquities in March 2016) has confirmed the need of further radar scans to take place inside the Tomb.
Anani announced a test intended to determine the thickness of a possible wall behind the funerary chamber. “There is a possibility that there is a cavity, after the latest scan. I hope we will find something ... but as a scientist I need to be careful before announcing results,” he said.
Read here a selection of press articles related to the possible discovery of Nefertiti by Nicholas Reeves