British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves has yet again thrown historians and archaeologists into a loop. 

Reeves who recently suggested that the tomb of Tutankhamun contained hidden rooms which might contain the body of Nefertiti, has advanced another theory suggesting that the striking gold funerary mask of Tutankhamun was not originally intended for the young pharaoh.

in a paper previewed on Reeves suggests that the surprisingly tatty cartouche found on the mask appears to have been retouched and that it covers the original cartouche bearing the name Ankhkheprure Nefernefruaten (Queen Nefertiti).

“Blinded by the piece’s sheer beauty and enormous bullion worth, however, the world has looked and yet has completely failed to see — that the gold mask had never been intended for Tutankhamun at all,” Reeves states.

Reeves is not the first to be suspicious of the intended original owner of the mask, a strong piece of evidence suggesting that the mask, or at least its components were originally intended for another is the fact that the face, although clearly belonging to Tutankhamun, has been manufactured of gold with a different hue to the gold used in the remainder of the headdress.