THE SEARCH FOR QUEEN NEFERTITI
(P1) The search for a secret CHAMBER behind King Tutankhamun’s TOMB had a fresh development, as Egypt’s ANTIQUITIES minister said INFRARED SCANS have revealed fresh EVIDENCE of an empty space behind the 3,000-year-old tomb.
(P2) The space is believed by some to be the lost BURIAL site of Queen Nefertiti, thought to be the ancient king’s STEPMOTHER, who died in the 14th century B.C. Confirmation of this THEORY would be the most significant Egyptian ARCHAEOLOGICAL find so far this century.
(P3) An ANALYSIS of infrared scans done last November has revealed the presence of empty spaces behind two walls in King Tut’s chamber, Egypt’s antiquities minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said at a PRESS CONFERENCE in Cairo.
(P4) In order to avoid disturbing the contents of King Tut’s chamber, the antiquities ministry worked with researchers from Cairo University and the HIP Institute, a French institute using technology to study and preserve cultural HERITAGE, to scan the chamber.
(P5) The effort uses infrared scans that can effectively look through the tomb’s walls because different materials return different FREQUENCIES of light when hit with an infrared beam.
(P6) The first scan took 24 hours.
(P7) The researchers are most INTRIGUED by cold spots revealed by the scans, which could be DRAFTY and indicate a previously undiscovered empty space such as a hallway or a room contained within the tomb.
(P8) The scans in November follow claims by British EGYPTOLOGIST Nicholas Reeves, who said HIGH-RESOLUTION images of the tombs provided hints of hidden doors to unexplored chambers.
(P9) Next up is a more advanced scan that is set to be conducted at the end of March with an international team of researchers who hope to confirm whether the empty spaces are in fact chambers. At that point, Damaty said he can discuss the possibility of how and when a team could explore the rooms.
(P10) While he says he’s 90 percent certain that chambers are there, “I never start the next step until I’m 100 percent,” he said.
(P11) Dr. Reeves, who is leading the investigation, believes that the young king’s MAUSOLEUM was originally occupied by Nefertiti.
(P12) The find could also be a BOON to Egypt’s tourism industry, an important part of the Egyptian economy that has suffered in recent years.
(P13) The discovery of Nefertiti herself — known for her REGAL beauty — would provide VALUABLE information about what remains a mysterious period of Egyptian history.
(P14) “It can be the discovery of the century,” said Damaty, the antiquities minister. “It’s very important for Egyptian history and the world.”
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Is there any actual evidence yet of Queen Nefertiti’s tomb being discovered, or is this story mostly WISHFUL THINKING?
- Why is the Egyptian government trying to make an announcement before anything has actually been found?
- Should the news media report “non-stories” like this, or should they not allow themselves to be MANIPULATED?
- Are you interested in history? What countries and time periods are you most interested in?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Press conference
- Wishful thinking