TEL AVIV – Experts are now saying that Maia, Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun’s wet nurse, may have actually been his sister Meritaten.
Egyptian officials and French Egyptologist Alain Zivie on Sunday unveiled Maia’s tomb to journalists ahead of its public opening next month.
“Maia is none other than princess Meritaten, the sister or half-sister of Tutankhamun and the daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti,” Zivie told AFP.
Zivie discovered the tomb in 1996 in Saqqara, 12 miles south of Cairo, while Tutankhamun’s mummy was found alongside thousands of burial gifts in 1922 by famed British Egyptologist Howard Carter in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
Zivie based his conclusions on the carvings of Tutankhamun and Maia on the walls of Maia’s tomb. “The extraordinary thing is that they are very similar. They have the same chin, the eyes, the family traits,” he said. “The carvings show Maia sitting on the royal throne and he is sitting on her lap.”
Even though DNA tests have proved that the pharaoh Akhenaten was the father of the boy king Tutankhamun, the identity of his mother is still unknown.
Nicholas Reeves claimed that Tutankhamun’s tomb has a secret chamber and Egyptian authorities back the claim with “90% certainty.”
Reeves believes the chamber could be the burial site of Queen Nefertiti, whose mummy also has not been found.
Tutankhamun died at age 19 more than 3,000 years ago in 1324 BC after ruling for nine years.