Egypt has unearthed further evidence that a secret chamber, believed by some to be the lost burial site of Queen Nefertiti, might lie behind King Tutankhamun's tomb, Egypt's antiquities minister said yesterday.
There is huge interest in Nefertiti, who died in the 14th century BC and is thought to be Tutankhamun's stepmother.
Confirmation of her final resting place would be a remarkable event in Egyptian archaeology.
An analysis of radar scans of the site in November has revealed the presence of two empty spaces behind two walls in King Tut's burial chamber, Mamdouh Damaty told a news conference.
"[The scans indicate] different things behind the walls, different material that could be metal, that could be organic," he said.
Damaty said in November that there was a 90% chance that "something" was behind the walls of King Tut's chamber. He based his opinion on an early radar scan that had been sent to Japan for analysis.
A more advanced scan by an international research team at the end of this month will confirm whether the empty spaces are in fact chambers. Only then, Damaty said, can he discuss the possibility of how and when a team could enter the rooms.
British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, who is leading the investigation, believes that Tutankhamun's mausoleum was originally occupied by Nefertiti and that she lies undisturbed behind what he believes is a partition wall.
The discovery of Nefertiti's remains would shed fresh light on what is still a mysterious period of Egyptian history.