Archaeologists in Cairo were due this week to resume a study aimed at unravelling the mystery over the identity of one of most controversial sarcophaguses in ancient Egyptian history and the tomb it was found in.
The study is being carried out on a collection of 500 gold sheets found in a box in storage at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir and the remains of a skull and a handwritten note in French dating to 1906 when the gold sarcophagus was found inside a tomb known as KV55 at the Valley of the Kings on Luxor’s west bank.
This tomb was thought to hold the body of New Kingdom pharaoh King Akhenaten who ruled Egypt from 1353–1336 BC, but no definitive evidence has been presented to back up the theory.
An earlier phase of the study, which began last year, suggested the gold sheets may belong to the mystery sarcophagus found in KV55, according to Elham Salah, head of Egypt's antiquities ministry’s museums department.
The note in French is dated to when KV55 was first discovered and states that the 500 accompanying sheets were found with a sarcophagus but does not specify which one, Salah said.
The American Research Centre in Egypt Endowment Fund in Cairo contributed 28,500 dollars to the study, which aims to uncover the identity of the owner of the sarcophagus and the tomb.