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King Tutankhamun's Treasures

Pharaoh Tutankhamun's funerary relics occupy a large section of the upper level of the Cairo Museum. This is not surprising, since most of the artifacts are in spectacular condition and many composed of precious metals. But whether they are made with gold, silver, bronze, wood or alabaster, they are all remarkably crafted and beautiful.

King Tut ruled Egypt from 1333 to 1323 B.C., only 10 years, before he was probably murdered and his throne ursurped by his royal vizier, Ay. He came to rule in the midst of political and religious turmoil brought about by his father, Akhenaten.

His funerary mask (at right), is perhaps the most impressive piece in the collection. The mask is about 25 pounds of solid gold, inlaid lapis lazuli, carnelian, quartz, turquoise, obsidian, and colored glass. The beautiful mask is extremely lifelike and attracts the most tourists of any other object on the upper level of the museum.

The back of the mask is engraved with a magic
formula for added protection of the body.

Below are a few photos of Tutankhamun's coffins.

His body was encased in a series of three coffins. Two are on display at the Cairo Museum; the outermost coffin still covers the body of the young pharaoh in his tomb in the Valley of Kings.

One of the coffins was almost 300 pounds of solid gold, the other was wood, layered with gold. Both were encrusted with precious and semi-precious gemstones and engraved with protection spells.

During the process of mummification, his key internal organs were removed from his body and placed into these protective jars. The jars were housed in a chest and the chest was placed inside a large gilded, wooden shrine.

The jars and the chest were carved from white alabaster, quarried from Hatnub, and then carved and painted with hieroglyphic spells. The shrine, along with many other priceless artifacts, was crammed in the small "Treasury of the Tomb".

The shrine that stored King Tut's canopic jars
Cabinet that stored a golden statue

A closer view of the shrine is at the right while a wooden statue of Anubis, the guide of the dead, sits upon a great chest. Both the chest and the shrine are covered in sheet gold and covered with hieroglyphs.


The hammering work on the gold panels on some of the objects is incredible

An alabaster perfume jar
A gilded and gem-encrusted chest

Here are two beautifully carved alabaster items. The one on the left is a perfume jar,
and the container on the right was probably made to hold ointment or sacred oils.

Tutankhamun's gilded and gem-encrusted throne
Yet another beautiful piece of alabaster


This marvelous chair was found in the annex of the antechamber among a jumble of furniture, boxes, and objects of alabaster.

Tutankhamun was entombed with 413 shawabtis. Shawabtis are figurines
that would assist the deceased when they entered the afterlife.

Hundreds of other items were found in Tutankhamun's tomb. Furniture, food,
jars of beer, clothing, jewelry and other riches. Above right is a gilded divan.


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