Egypt breakthrough: Archaeologist ‘hopeful’ key ancient Queen FOUND in Valley of Kings

Dr Hawass is on the trail of Queen Nefertiti, the step-mother of famous pharaoh Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings – the same location Howard Carter found KV62 in 1922. Nefertiti, who was married to the Boy King’s father – Akhenaten – died in 1331BC, but her tomb has never been discovered. However, Dr Hawass told Express.co.uk exclusively that things are starting to heat up, as he probes an area near Amenhotep III’s tomb, WV22 that he believes was used to bury ancient royals. 

He said “I’m working in the Valley of the Kings, where I’m hoping to discover the tomb of Nefertiti and many more in the East Valley in the coming weeks. 

“Also [I should find] all the Queens of the 18th Dynasty, sons and daughters of the Kings. 

“They are all buried in this valley and I am still searching.” 

He was speaking following the opening of the new exhibition in London: “Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh.” 

They are all buried in this valley and I am still searching

Dr Zahi Hawass

More than 150 artefacts have travelled from Egypt to the Saatchi Gallery and will be on display now until May 3, 2020. 

For the first time ever, 60 items have left the country, before they return to their permanent home in the new Grand Egyptian Museum next year. 

Recently closed in Paris, the exhibition became France’s most visited of all time with an attendance of over 1.4 million.  

Dr Tarek Al Awady, curator of the exhibition detailed to Express.co.uk the huge task of organising it. 

He said: “It’s a very exciting thing to be able to tour the world with King Tutankhamun. 

“But it’s also a huge responsibility, we are travelling with 150 masterpieces from the tomb of Tutankhamun. 

“So we are working according to well-placed plans for the transportation, the packing of the artefacts, the installation of the artefacts, and we do have a well-trained team to do the job for the King.”   

Pressed on his favourite of the bunch, Dr Hawass revealed that there was one object that caught Mr Carter’s eye – so much so he ordered the inscription to be written on his grave too.  

He said: “My favourite treasure is the wishing cup, and the reason is because it is beautiful, it is made of alabaster.  

“This was also Howard Carter’s favourite piece.  

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“On that piece there is a religious prayer that Howard Carter requested to be written on his grave.  

“When I visited his tomb last year, I found the inscription of this cup written on it [his grave].” 

Known as the Lotus Chalice, the cup was one of the first objects which Carter and his excavators found on entering the tomb.  

The vessel was almost directly behind the entrance of the corridor to the antechamber, where they broke in, on the ground.  

Translated on Carter’s grave, the message reads: “May your spirit live, may you spend millions of years, you who love Thebes, sitting with your face to the north wind, your eyes beholding happiness. 

Dr Hawass added: “All of these 150 artefacts were inserted in the tomb which would help the deceased to fight and go straight to the afterlife.  

“Each one of them is unique, if you look at it, it will capture the heart of any visitor to this exhibition.  

“I don’t believe in the afterlife, but it was the belief of the afterlife that allowed the ancient Egyptians to build Egypt.  

“Without that belief, you would never have this great civilisation building pyramids and building tombs and all the unique artefacts that helped them to get to the afterlife.  

“It was the most important thing, it built Egypt.”  

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