Archaeologists and researchers expressed their divided opinions about possibility of existence of hidden chambers inside the tomb of ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun during a recently held conference in Cairo. The international meet concluded that no digging inside the tomb shall take place without full evidence about the sealed-off chambers.
Egypt's antiquities ministry declared in November 2015 that the pharaoh's tomb may be hiding many more chambers after British archaeologist Dr Nicolas Reeves said he had found a secret passageway within the tomb. Most archaeologists speculated that the passageway could lead to the grave of Queen Nefertiti, Tutankhamun or King Tut's step mother and one of the most famous pharaohs of ancient Egyptian kingdom.
Reeves' theory has led to extensive radar scans of King Tut's tomb since the last year. However, Egypt's former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass rejected the theory.
"In all my career I have never come across any discovery in Egypt due to radar scans," Hawass said during the conference held at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation on 8 May, according to The Associated Press.
The Egyptologist suggested radar be better used to scan those tombs that are well known to contain closed chambers.
Reeves of the University of Arizona defended his initial observation of the tomb. "I was looking for the evidence that would tell me that my initial reading was wrong," he said. "But I didn't find any evidence to suggest that. I just found more and more indicators that there is something extra going on in Tutankhamun's tomb."
Egypt's Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou claimed in February that the secret chambers are full of treasure. Describing the find as a "Big Bang of 21st century", he said that the country would make a formal announcement about the treasure in April
"We do not know if the burial chamber is Nefertiti or another woman, but there is a treasure," Zaazou told Spanish daily ABC. "Reeves [Dr Nicolas Reeves] has found a wall behind the tomb of King Tut leading to a room where there is proven to be metals, stones ... it is full of treasures," he added. "We are working on it and in April we will announce the news to the world. It will be a historic moment."
Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anani has said that while scanning of the tomb would be allowed, there shall be no physical excavation unless there was 100 percent surety about a cavity behind the tomb's wall.
Tutankhamun ascended the Egyptian throne at the age of nine in 1332BC. He died aged 18 and is widely known as the boy king of ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty. The cause of his death remain a mystery. King Tut's tomb was found in Luxor in 1922.