Over 3,000 treasures were placed in the tomb to help Tutankhamun in his afterlife, and the walls of the burial chamber were painted with scenes of his voyage to the afterworld. The chamber contained four gilded shrines, inside which was a red quartzite sarcophagus containing three nesting coffins. Tutankhamun’s mummy rested in the innermost coffin, which is made of solid gold and weighs approximately 110.4 kilos (242.9 lbs.). His body was wrapped in linen and over his face was placed an exquisite gold mask.
Who was Tutankhamun?
Tutankhamun was the eleventh king of the 18th dynasty (16th – 13th century BCE), who reigned for nine years and died when he was approximately 18 years old. DNA analyses indicate that he was the son of Akhenaten, the previous king, and of Akhenaten’s sister, a royal concubine. He died with no heirs, which allowed two army generals to access the throne, Ay followed by Horemheb.
After the break from orthodoxy of the Amarna period, Tutankhamun and his successors resumed the ancient form of the religion and started extensive temple constructions in the country.
What was found?
Using ground-penetrating radar (radiating electromagnetic pulses into a surface then analysing the type of response), a team composed of the Egyptian minister and various specialists performed a scan of the walls of the burial chamber and treasury of the tomb of Tutankhamun. These scans indeed indicate that there are openings behind the West and North walls of the burial chamber.
Further examination of the resulting data indicates that there are organic and metallic remains behind each of these voids. This means that they were intentionally created and carefully concealed, with access plastered over and then decorated to hide it from view.
They were so well hidden that they lay undiscovered for nearly a century after the first opening of the tomb.