Gold mask of Tutankhamun

Land of Pharaohs

Land of Pharaohs
Image Source

Egypt is a land of the Pharaoh and ancient civilization. When we think about Egypt, the immediate response we get is about the Pyramids.Mummies and treasures. The information about mummies in Egypt is always a surprise. Mummies of humans and animals have been found in every continent, both as a result of natural preservation through unusual conditions and as cultural artefacts. Over one million animal mummies have been found in Egypt, many of which are cats.

The practice of preserving the King’s body is believed to be an ultimate practice of Egyptian life. The ancient Egyptians viewed their kings as gods. When their King dies, they will bury his body in the majestic tomb called Pyramid. For the king’s afterlife needs, they will keep many of the precious items like gold jewelry and artefacts used by the King inside the tomb.

You can also read6 unexplained facts which are being debated for a long time

Nine-year-old Pharaoh

Let us see the great archaeological finding ever discovered in the century.

Image Source

Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty (ruled c. 1332 – 1323 BC). During the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom(between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, covering the 18th19th, and 20th dynasties of Egypt), he is commonly known as King Tut. Tutankhamun did not have a lengthy reign; he was a nine-year-old boy when he became a king. King Tut suffered from many illnesses including malaria, Marfan syndrome, androgen insensitivity syndrome, and temporal lobe epilepsy. He ruled Egypt as pharaoh for 10 years until his death at age 19, around 1324 B.C.

Archaeologist Howard Carter’s intervention

Archaeologists all over the world came to Egypt to unleash the secrets of Mummies and the hidden treasure. Archaeologists have found 65 hidden tombs inside the valley’s limestone cliff, but the sad part is all of them are raided by the tomb robbers before they were hidden beneath the valley.  British archaeologist Howard Carter believed that the tomb of Tutankhamun, the 14th-century king of Egypt, is unopened and can be found in the valley of Kings.

He was a mysterious pharaoh who died at the age of 19. Many kinds of research are still undergoing for the cause of his death. So he decided to search the King Tut cemetery with his crew, his search continued for many long years but the results are not favored to him. Lord Carnarvon, the financier of this project, lost hope at one point. “We’ll give up this effort,” he told to Carter, but Carter convinced him that he could wait one more year.

Howard Carter
Image Source

Great treasure ever found in the century

Image Source

Finally, in November 1922, Carter’s team discovered the staircase near the ruined parts of another tomb. On the way there, Tutankhamun’s tomb was revealed, which was around 3000 years old. Subsequently, on February 17, 1923, Carter began tearing down the wall that separated the antechamber from the mummy of the Pharaoh. When the opening was large enough to enter with his crew, Carter was able to peek through and spy a wall of gold. This later turned out to be a gold enshrined between the shrine and the chamber walls. It was just enough room to squeeze through.

When Carter opened the doors of a first shrine there was a second shrine inside and inside of that a third shrine and inside of that yet another but inside the doors of the fourth shrine there laid a stone sarcophagus. They found that is stunningly gilded and it turned out that it also concealed two more coffins. The innermost coffin weighed about 225 pounds made of solid gold. On which the King Tut mummy has been laid to rest and this third chamber was filled with Treasures. This was considered to be the great archaeological finding of the century. Countless, priceless artefacts including golden statues have been found with the King mummified chamber.

In the burial chamber, the Pharaoh’s mummy with a golden death mask was placed inside a coffin made of one hundred kilograms of solid gold. The surprising fact is 80% of the structural material and design found in this tomb are not made specifically for King Tut. Almost seven hundred objects were found inside the King’s chamber. It almost took three months for Carter and his team to clear out the chamber.

The Golden Mask

The gold mask of Tutankhamun is recognized as one of the world’s most famous artwork made of solid gold and it’s a masterpiece of ancient Goldsmiths. Howard Carter uncovered the mummy of Tutankhamun in 1925, three years after he discovered the tomb of the Pharaoh. Tutankhamun’s mask is only known to exist, apparently, all other gold masks had been stolen by tomb robbers.

Gold mask of Tutankhamun
Image Source

The gold mask of Tutankhamun is framed by a Nemes, a special striped headdress depicted with inlays of blue glass. The Nemes could only be worn by the Pharaohs and commoners could never wear this kind of headdress gold which was considered to be the mythical flesh of Ra the shining Sun God, since the king represented the Sun God. The headdress is crowned with a vulture and a Cobra the symbols of upper and lower Egypt here they’re fashioned out of gold with inlays of glass carnelian.

The sacred hieroglyphic text on the back of the mask contains a secret spell from the Book of the Dead which protects the head from evil spirits. Howard Carter also found an alabaster box that hid four small mummy shaped coffins made of solid gold. Inside those small coffins, he found canopic jars which contain mummified organs including the liver, stomach, intestines, and lungs of King Tut.

Cairo museum
Image Source

Today the precious stones, monuments, and artefacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb are kept in the Cairo City Museum which exactly replicates how it was discovered in the King Tut chamber.

The Curse

The discovery of the Pharaoh’s tomb created worldwide sensational news. There is a warning engraved on the exterior of King Tutankhamun’s tomb “Death shall come on swift wings to him who disturbs the peace of the King”. It was widely claimed that many people associated with the opening of the tomb soon fell victim to the curse dying under mysterious circumstances, a few months after the tombs opening many deaths occurred, where doctors unable to diagnose the strange disease.

It is also understood that certain curse stories can be created to safe guard huge amount of golden treasures and wealth which are kept with a mummified body from tomb robbers. Howard Carter, the man who actually found King Tutankhamun lived to a fairly age of 64 before succumbing to cancer. So it is up to the individual belief whether coincidental deaths or Egyptian curse for the death of explorers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tutankhamun – Great archaeological treasure discovery

by Prathib CK time to read: 5 min