A LEADING Egyptologist has claimed he is weeks away from discovering the long-lost body of Queen Nefertiti.
Zahi Hawass, previously Egypt’s Minister of State for Antiquities, believes a mummy he is currently examining will turn out to be that of the elusive ancient monarch.
If that’s true, then Hawass, who has decades of experience studying Egyptian history and excavating ancient tombs, has stumbled upon one of the archaeological finds of the century.
The researcher told Spanish newspaper El Independiente: “I’m sure I’ll unveil Nefertiti’s mummy in a month or two.”
The final resting place of Nefertiti, who was queen at the side of Pharaoh Akhenaten over 3,000 years ago, is one of Egypt’s greatest mysteries.
The powerful monarch is believed to have been the mother of King Tutankhamun’s wife and that she conquered Egypt after her husband’s death in 1335 BC. Reigned directly for a short time.
Archaeologists have never found her remains and her final resting place is a hotly debated topic.
Hawass’ quest has led him to the world-famous Valley of the Kings near the city of Luxor.
He said: “We already have DNA from the 18th Dynasty mummies, from Akhenaten to Amenhotep II or III, and there are two unnamed mummies, designated KV21a and b.
“In October we are pleased to announce the discovery of the mummy of Ankhesenamun, Tutankhamun’s wife, and her mother Nefertiti. Also in grave KV35 is the mummy of a 10-year-old boy.
“If this child is the brother of Tutankhamun and the son of Akhenaten, the problem posed by Nefertiti will be solved.”
Hawass added, “I’m sure I’ll reveal which of the two unnamed mummies could be Nefertiti.”
Backed by a world-class team of Egyptologists, Hawass launched his project in 2017 to find the remains of Nefertiti.
The archaeologist is putting together an exhibit titled Daughters of the Nile, which focuses on women in ancient Egypt.
“The team of Egyptian archaeologists tasked with finding Nefertiti’s tomb is an all-Egyptian mission,” he said last year.
“This is the first time an Egyptian mission is leading [the excavation] works at the archaeological site of the Valley of the Kings, where foreign missions have always worked.”
It is believed that Nefertiti lived from 1353 to 1336 BC. was queen alongside Pharaoh Akhenaten and possibly ruled Egypt herself after her husband.
The pair wielded power over one of the largest and most powerful empires ever seen in its most prosperous days.
Nefertiti became famous for her beautiful head bust, which was probably made around 1340 BC. was sculpted.
The artefact was rediscovered in 1912 and is now on display in the Neues Museum in Berlin.
Despite decades of searching, Nefertiti’s mummy has yet to be discovered.
Many Egyptologists have falsely claimed to have found their remains, but without conclusive proof.
A popular theory is that she was buried in a secret compartment in the tomb of her son-in-law, King Tut.
The Boy King died aged just 19 and his tomb complex is exceptionally small for a monarch, leading some experts to speculate that parts of it remain undiscovered.
However, Hawass has dismissed such claims.
He said last year: “There is no scientific evidence to support the theory that Queen Nefertiti was buried in Tutankhamun’s tomb.
“We believe Nefertiti may be buried in the western valley next to the tomb of King Amenhotep III.”
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