Embed Size (px)
Discovering Tut :The Saga Continues
Discovering Tut :The Saga Continues
A. R. Williams
The modern world has turn impossibilities to possibilities. William’s report gives an insight into a mummy scanned after a thousand years that has opened new avenues regarding a cause of it’s’ death. The mummy referred to here is that of King Tut or Tutankhamen, meaning the living image of Amun. The earlier ruler, Amenhotep-IV has shocked the country by attacking Amun, a major God, smashing his images and closing all his temples. His family had ruled for centuries before the boy king, Tut took over. However, Tut ruled for nine years and then died both mysteriously and unexpectedly.
“Funerary treasures”• The mummy was in a very bad state, according to Zahi
Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. King Tut’s tomb was first discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter, a British archaeologist. Tut was found buried with numerous “funerary treasures” in a coffin made of pure gold. The treasures found included precious collars, inlaid necklaces and bracelets, rings, amulets, a ceremonial apron, sandals and sheaths for his fingers and toes. These treasures are till date the richest royal collections ever found. Some everyday items considered to be needed in the afterlife, like board games, bronze razor, linen undergarments, cases of food and wine were also found. This revealed that the ancient Egyptians believed in the idea of resurrection and hoped to take their riches with them.
Discovery Of Tut’s Tomb
The discovery of tut’s tomb by Howard Carter in 1922 is considered the most important archaeological find of the century. On January 5, 2005, King Tut’s mummy glided head first into a CT scanner to probe the medical mysteries surrounding him. An angry wind stirred up ghostly dust devils. Dark clouds moved into the sky all day. These were thought to be the indications of the pharaoh’s curse. Death or misfortune would fall upon those who disturbed him.
Valley of Kings (above)
Tut’s Life• Reign : Given his age, the king probably had very powerful advisers,
presumably including GeneralHoremheb and the Vizier Ay.Horemheb records that the king appointed him "lord of the land" as hereditary prince to maintain law. Healso noted his ability to calm the young king when his temper flared.
• Domestic policy:In his third regnal year, Tutankhamun reversed several changes made during his father's reign. He ended the worship of the god Aten and restored the god Amun to supremacy. The ban on the cult of Amun was lifted and traditional privileges were restored to its priesthood. The capital was moved back to Thebes and the city of Akhetaten abandoned.
• This is when he changed his name to Tutankhamun, "Living image of Amun", reinforcing the restoration of Amun.
• As part of his restoration, the king initiated building projects, in particular at Thebes and Karnak where he dedicated a temple to Amun.
• Many monuments were erected, and an inscription on his tomb door declares the king had "spent his life in fashioning the images of the gods". The traditional festivals were now celebrated again, including those related tothe Apis Bull Horemakhet, and Opet .His restoration stela says:“The temples of the gods and goddesses ... were in ruins. Their shrines were deserted and overgrown. Their sanctuaries were as non-existent and theircourts were used as roads ... the gods turned their backs upon this land... If anyone made a prayer to a god for advice he would never respond.”
• King Tut’s mummy was CT scanned on January 5, 2005 after Howard Carter had discovered it in 1922. Tourists all over the world went into the rock- cut tomb some 26 feet underground to pay their respects to King Tut. They gazed at the murals on the walls of the burial chamber. They also peered at Tut’s gilded face. Some tourists stood silently to see if the pharaoh’s curse-death or misfortune would fall upon those who disturbed him-would be really true.
A natural death ?• The scanning of Tut’s mummy also gave an insight as to how
mummies were buried. Howard Carter, who scanned the body found it difficult to extract the mummy. The ritual resins had hardened there by cementing Tut to the bottom of his solid gold coffin. Carter finally had to chisel the mummy away having no other option. Every major point was severed. Tut was buried with gold which was meant to guarantee the resurrection and was also buried with every day things he would need in his after-life. Tut also had things to take on his journey to the great beyond-glittering goods, precious collars, necklaces and sandals, all of pure gold. The computed Tomography scan couldn’t solve the mysterious death of Tut but gave us clues for sure. The X-rays and C.T. scan reveal a startling fact-the breast bone and the Pont ribs of Tut were missing. Such a revelation would not have been possible without technological precision. This fact gives us a clue that Tut, in all likelihood did not die a natural death.
Carter’s investigations and the problems faced
• Carter investigated the three nested coffins. In the first, a shroud adorned with garlands of willow and olive leaves, wild celery, lotus petals and cornflowers were found. This gave vague evidence that the death might have taken place in the month of March or April. Carter faced difficulty in extracting the mummy of the king out of the coffin. The ritual resins had hardened resulting in cementing of Tut to the bottom of the solid gold coffin. Though Carter unsuccessfully tried to use sun to loosen the resins, there was no other way left to separate the mummy from the adornments than to chisel it away. Its head had to be removed and the major joints had to be detached. The only ground for Carter to defend himself for chiselling Tut was that thieves would have ripped the body apart to rob the gold, if he had not chiselled it.
Burial treasures of Tut
• The treasures of Tutankhamun have been marveled at since their discovery by Howard Carter on November 4, 1922.
• Tutankhamun’s second innermost coffin, also referred to as the intermediate coffin is made of gilded, laminated wood with inlays of polychrome glass pastes.
• Tutankhamun's third coffin is made of solid, hammered gold and weighs about 450 pounds. The royal mummy of Tutankhamun was found inside this coffin
• Tutankhamun's famous gold funerary mask rested directly on the pharaoh's mummy inside the third coffin. The pharaoh wears the classic names 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 foremost and furthermost gilded wood statuettes portray Tutankhamun hunting hippopotamus with a harpoon from a boat made of papyrus.
• One of the two calcite lamps found in Tutankhamun's burial chamber. The cup takes the form of an open lotus flower and is flanked on both sides by rich, openwork decoration in which the god Heh is depicted kneeling on a number of papyrus plants with his arms raised.
• Three models of luxury ships (left) were found in Tutankhamun's tomb. The baldachins at the bow and stern are decorated with symbols of the sphinx and the bull. Thirty-two model boats were placed in the tomb for Tutankhamun's use in the afterworld
• A cobra killed Howard Carter's pet canary after the discovery of King Tut's tomb.
• Lord Carnarvon, the person who funded the dig of King Tut’s Tomb, died shortly after the discovery, due to a mosquito bite which turned into an infection. At that exact moment the lights in Cairo mysteriously went out.
• Lord Carnarvon's dog howled and dropped dead at two in the morning when Carnarvon died.
• What is interesting is that Howard Carter lived a decade after this major discovery.
• In 1923, another man involved in the opening of the tomb, George Jay Gould, died as a result of a fever followed by Carnarvon's half-brother Aubrey Herbert in 1923; Egyptologist H.E. Evelyn-White; radiologist Sir Archibad Douglas-Reid; Howard Carter's assistant Richard Bethel; his father Lord Westbury; Egyptologist A.C. Mace; Egyptologist James Breasted in 1935; and finally Howard Carter in March of 1939.
• Although some believe that the deaths may just be coincidental, many believe that the deaths were a result of the mummy's curse.
• It is believed several of the deaths could be linked to a released mold that had been trapped in the tomb and released.
• New findings are showing that bacteria on the wall of the tomb might have been the cause of the curse. The bacteria would release spores into the air allowing it to be breathed. This in turn caused people who came into contact with these spores to become ill.
• Here he lives with his great wife, the beautiful Nefertiti, and together they serve as the high priests of the Aten, assisted in their duties by their six cherished daughters. All power and wealth is stripped from the Amun priesthood, and the Aten reigns supreme. The end of Akhenaten's reign is cloaked in confusion—a scene acted out behind closed curtains. One or possibly two kings rule for short periods of time, either alongside Akhen aten, after his death, or both.
• When Amenhotep III dies, he is succeeded by his second son, Amenhotep IV—a bizarre visionary who turns away from Amun and the other gods of the state pantheon and worships instead a single deity known as the Aten, the disk of the sun. In the fifth year of his reign, he changes his name to Akhenaten—"he who is beneficial to the Aten." He elevates himself to the status of a living god and abandons the traditional religious capital at Thebes, building a great ceremonial city 180 miles to the north, at a place now called Amarna.
• the first of these "kings" is actually Nefertiti. The second is a mysterious figure called Smenkhkare, the throne is occupied by a young boy: the nine-year-old Tut ankhaten ("the living image of the Aten"). Within the first two years of his tenure on the throne, he and his wife, Ankhesenpaaten abandon Amarna and return to Thebes, reopening the temples and restoring their wealth and glory. They change their names to Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun, proclaiming their rejection of Akhenaten's heresy and their renewed dedication to the cult of Amun.
The role of Science & Technology in the discovery of Tut
• Egypt’s famed King Tutankhamun suffered from a cleft palate and club foot, likely forcing him to walk with a cane, and died from complications from a broken leg exacerbated by malaria, according to the most extensive study ever of his mummy.
• The findings were from two years of DNA testing and CT scans on 16 mummies, including those of Tutankhamun and his family, the team that carried out the study said in an article to be published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
• It also established the clearest yet family tree for Tut. The study said his father was most likely Akhenaten, the pharaoh who tried to revolutionize ancient Egyptian religion to worship one god — while his mother was a still unidentified sister of Akhenaten.
• Tut, who became pharaoh at the age of 10 in 1333 B.C., ruled for just nine years at a pivotal time in Egypt’s history. While a comparatively minor king, the 1922 discovery of his tomb filled with stunning artifacts, including the famed golden funeral mask, made him known the world over.
• Speculation had long swirled over why the boy king died at such a young age. A hole in his skull long fueled speculation he was murdered, until an X-ray scan in 2005 ruled that out, finding that the hole was likely from the mummification process. The scan also uncovered the broken leg.
WITH THANKSSANJEEB MOHANTY