Breaking the seal on Tutankhamun's tomb.2:52 PM
|Real photo of the seal on Tut's tomb. 3250 years untouched|
Breaking through the sealed door, Carter found a passageway filled with stone and rubble. Clearing this passageway revealed another sealed door marked with the royal impressions of Tutankhamun. Carter was sure he had found the king's tomb, but he was afraid it may have been pillaged - its contents removed. On November 26th Carter, with Lord Carnarvon at his side, started to break through this second sealed door. It was, as Carter described, "the day of days, the most wonderful that I have ever lived through.
Slowly, desperately slowly it seemed to us as we watched, the remains of passage debris that encumbered the lower part of the doorway were removed, until at last we had the whole door clear before us. The decisive moment had arrived.
I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, 'Can you see anything?' it was all I could do to get out the words, 'Yes, wonderful things.' Then widening the hole a little further, so that we both could see, we inserted an electric torch.
The "wonderful things" that Carter saw encompassed the greatest collection of Egyptian antiquities ever discovered. But this was only the tip of the iceberg. Beyond this antechamber lay another, smaller, room filled with equally magnificent treasures. It took the archeological team 2 1/2 months to carefully clear and catalog the items in these two rooms. Finally, Carter was ready to break through a fourth sealed door into what he believed would be King Tut's tomb - the holy of holies where the pharaoh would be found in his golden casket.
LEFT: The second coffin of Tutankhamun. (1336-1327 BC) Wood covered with gold foil inlaid with red, blue and turquoise glass.
It was the first, and to this day the only, royal tomb in the history of Egyptology to be found practically untouched, even though in ancient times it had been the object of no less than two attempts at robbery. The emptying of Tutankhamun's tomb lasted several years and made possible the recovery of about 3500 articles, confirming the tomb as the most exceptional archeological discovery ever made in Egypt.
The most precious is the solid gold mask, which rested directly on the pharaoh's mummy inside the third coffin. The pharaoh wears the classic nemes headdress striped with transversal bands of glass paste imitating lapis lazuli and is adorned with a wide collar composed of streaks of semiprecious stones and colored glasses. The eyes are made of quartz and obsidian. As on the coffins, the lapis-lazuli outline of the eyes reproduces the distinctive kohl eye make-up originally applied to protect against the sun's glare but increasingly employed for its beautifying effect.
The following content list describes the breathtaking treasure and different types of objects, many of which were made of gold and silver and encrusted with precious jewels, which were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun:
Jewelry including Bracelets, Anklets, Buckles, Scarabs, Amulets, Pendants, Pectorals, Necklaces, Earrings, Collars, Ear Studs and Rings
Ritual beds and Headrests
Anthropoid (man-shaped) Gilded Coffins and the Solid Gold coffin
Shrines - Canopic shrine and Burial shrines
Naos covered with gold lamina- a shrine in which statues were kept - this naos was empty but decorated with scenes of daily life and hunting
Gilded statues - Anubis and life size sentry statues and other statuettes
Daggers and other weapons and shields
Caskets, Vases and jars
139 ebony, ivory, silver, and gold walking sticks
Clothing made of the finest linen - 50 garments including tunics, kilts, gloves, scarves and headdresses
Ostrich fans and Golden Fans
Games - Ebony gaming boards including Senet
Food and Wine - 30 jars of wine
Perfume, oils and ointments
Carter found hundreds of solid gold objects like Tut's throne. This throne is made from wood, which is partly gold plated and inlaid with minute pieces of ivory, ebony, semi-precious stones and coloured glass.
Several beds were found in the tomb (including one that folded up for travelling). This example is of gilded wood, with an intact base of woven string. A headrest would have been used instead of a pillow, and the rectangular board at one end of the bed is a foot-board (not a head-board as in modern beds). The frame of the bed is supported on feline legs.
Tutankhamun's tomb contained a number of gaming boards for the game of Senet. The rules of the game are not certain, but it was for two players, whose aim was to knock their opponent off the board. The number of squares moved was decided by throwing sticks (used like dice today). Clearly Tutankhamun was a keen player and this small version is a 'travelling set' made of painted ivory.
His trumpets- considered to be the oldest operational trumpets in the world. Both of them were sounded for the first time in over 3000 years to a live audience of 150 million listeners through a BBC broadcast aired on April 16, 1939.
Personal dagger, so precious to the pharaoh that it was placed upon his mummy among the wrappings. The blade is highly polished gold with simple and elegantly engraved details. The hilt, also of gold, has alternating bands of granulated gold and cloisonne of red and blue glass. The pommel surmounting the handle has a circlet of two falcons with outstretched wings, while its top is decorated with a floral motif, in the center of which are two cartouches with the names of the king.
Gold sandals with images of Nubian slaves.
Concealed beneath the gold mask, which covered the head and shoulders of Tutankhamun's mummy, was an elegant gold diadem, closely resembling in style the diadem worn by the king in two of the scenes represented on the small gold shrine found in his tomb. Very probably it was used in his lifetime, placed over a wig. The vulture's head and the cobra, insignia of his sovereignty over Upper and Lower Egypt, were not transferred from one diadem to another - a feature that would suggest that this diadem was one of a set.
These were the treasures of young but ill pharaoh. He probably spent much of his life in pain before dying at 19 from the combined effects of malaria and a broken leg. Tut also had a cleft palate and a curved spine, and was probably weakened by inflammation and problems with his immune system.
|Pharaoh Tutankhamun, represented by this forensic reconstruction based on his skeleton and mummy|