One of the most famous of all of the Egyptian kings or pharaohs in history is the boy king, Tutankhamen. Tutankhamen was not known for his accomplishments (even though he opened up religious tolerance which was absent during his father’s reign) or great building projects, but rather the artwork that came out of his burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings. His tomb is unique because most of the treasures and art was untouched and still intact.
The treasure that was put in the tomb showed the wealth that would be buried with the pharaohs and kings, and how much wealth the ancient Egyptian culture has been lost to modern times due to tomb raiders. There are many symbols that show the religion of the ancient Egyptians within the tomb such as the hawk symbol for Horus. The detail that was also shown on the death mask, sculptures, and even the coffin is a true marvel of metal works. Tutankhamen was a king during the New Kingdom period of the 18th Dynasty. The death of both kings some two years later resulted in the accession of Tutankhaton, as Tutankhamun was then called, when he was about nine years old and married to Ankhesenpaaton, Meritaton’s younger sister. ” Tutankhaton was also known to have been disfigured and weak, but by the painting and statues of him you would never guess. Tutankhaton did not rule long over Egypt dying at the aged of nineteen. Tutankhaton unlike the kings of the past with the giant pyramids, he was buried with many other kings of his time in the Valley of the Kings.
The Valley of the Kings is, “which is a rocky desert west of the Nile opposite Luxor,” this took fewer resources and had more room for the kings to have their tombs put into. Figure 1. Egyptian, Thebes: Tomb of Tutankhamen: King Ay complete ritual of opening of mouth on King Tut represented as Osiris, Date 1580-1085 B. C, Luxor, Egypt, New Kingdom-Dynasty XVIII–1580-1085 BC The picture above was found inside of Tutankhamen’s tomb which shows Tutankhamen’s successor Ay, and Tutankhamen dressed as the god, Osiris. The idea of this is to show the religious aspect where the King hopes to be able to rise from the dead just like Osiris.
The picture depicts also a ritual called the opening of the mouth. This was link to both birth and death on someone. Historians were able to connect that the opening of the mouth ritual through Tutankhamen’s tomb and the pyramid texts that the opening of the mouth ritual has been around since the Old Kingdom in Egypt. “Although flint pss-kfs are rare after the beginning of the First Dynasty, models of the implement, often made of other types of stone, are known from Old Kingdom tombs and continue to occur occasionally as late as the Eighteenth Dynasty.  This was a great discovery for the religious and belief system of ancient Egyptians. This picture also show that the Canon law which was used when Egyptians depicted people, which was used in the Old Kingdom was still in use during the New Kingdom during Tutankhamun. Showing that both the religious and art basics within Egypt has not changed much over the course of the hundreds of year that p from the Old Kingdom to the New Kingdom. Figure 2. Egyptian, Funerary Mask of Tutankhamen, Date 1333-1323 BCE, Luxor, Egypt, New Kingdom, Eighteenth Dynasty
The funerary mask that was found inside the tomb of Tutankhamun is one of the most famous pieces of art to have been discovered in the tomb. The funerary mask shows the amount of wealth the kings and pharaohs gathered over time. The materials that were used within the mask are made of solid gold and other semi-precious stones. The demotions of the funerary mask are, “height 54. 0 cm, width 39. 0 cm, depth 49. 0 cm. ” The shape of the mask is believed to be a pretty good depiction of what Tutankhamun looked like when he was alive. The rather narrow eyes, fleshy lips, and shape of the nose and chin all agree with the features visible on his mummy. ” This mask would have been buried on King Tutankhamun in the coffins for there were three coffins that were stacked inside one another (kind of like the Russian nesting dolls). All the coffins also had the almost identical mask piece as the funerary mask. The coffins were also made with extreme care and precision, which includes both wood work and metal work. Figure 3. Egyptian, Statuette of Tutankhamen on Papyrus Boat as Harpooner:
Front 3/4: from Tomb of Tutankhamen, Date 1350 B. C, Luxor, Egypt, New Kingdom-Dynasty XVIII–1580-1085 BC This piece of art has shown the amount of treasure that the kings gather being that it wooden figure gilded in gold. But the think that is that through scientific data there believe that Tutankhamen was a disfigured and weak person so to show him as a harpooner does not come to mind. This could be to show that the king was not weak to the outside and even to have the king to have a strong body in the afterlife.
This piece of art also shows the “Egyptian sculptor’s ability to represent realistically the poise of the human body in the course of movement. ” The rest of the statuette was left out was a hippopotamus of Seth which was what Tutankhamen was harpooning. It was left out for a simple reason that it may be dangerous to the king in burial place of the king in the afterlife. “This gilded wooden figure represents Tutankhamun as Horus throwing a harpoon at one of Seth’s hippopotami. ” The perception that the king was the embodiment of Horus was still around from the beginning of the Kingdoms.
Thanks to the discovery of the boy king’s tomb historian are able to see religious aspect of the ancient Egyptians and the wealth that has been lost through history. With the art work you can also see the masterful work of metal work that Egyptians mastered over a long time of metal working. Historians can also see that the times during Tutankhamun’s rule that the Egyptian were still using the canon of proportions as the Old and Middle Kingdoms periods. The tomb of Tutankhamun was a view of the past that was lost to historian and Egyptologist which helps to link the past with dates further back and to the future of the Egyptians.
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