Tutankhamun who was also known as king Tut was an Egyptian king who ruled in the 18th dynasty. He became a king at the age of nine years and at the age of 19 years he died. He cannot be credited as one of the greatest Egyptian Kings probably because he only ruled for nine years and at a very tender age.
He was buried in a small tomb and for many years the tomb was overlooked (Phil 25). In 1922, Howard Carter discovered this tomb and surprisingly it was almost intact. This essay is a short summary of the art of King Tutankhamen’s Tomb and its significance.
Discovery of the Tomb
In November 1922, Howard Carter together with the help of Lord Carnarvon discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamen and George Herbert was responsible for funding the project. Amazingly, the tomb was almost intact. According to research around 3500 treasures laid there nearly undisturbed for at least 3000 years.
This gives us an insight of the reasons why ancient tombs were robbed. If all these treasures were found in such a small tomb that they even forgot about, how much more treasures were found in grandest of the tombs? (Mark 1)
It is known that the tombs of the Egyptians kings were filled with much treasure. Depending on how powerful and great a king was his tomb would be proportionally rich. That meant that less powerful kings had smaller tombs which were filled with less treasure and art.
The fact that the tomb of king Tut was not constructed in a manner that could easily be identified meant that he was not of much significance. The surprising fact is that upon the discovery and excavation of the tomb, there were so many treasures in the tomb (Bayuk 1).
The entrance of the tomb was at the base of a sloping hill. The entrance was in form of a staircase as seen in the above sketch. The interior design consisted of corridors and chambers. There were four chambers in the following order from the entrance: antechamber, annex, burial chamber and treasury.
The maximum tomb height measured 3.68 meters, the minimum width was found to be 0.66 meters with the maximum width being 7.86 meters. The total length was found to be 30.79 meters and a total area of 109.83 squared meters with a total volume of 277.01 squared meters (Mark 1).
The tomb was an underground construction with several sections. The burial chamber was of great interest because it contained most of the art and king’s remains. The treasury was kept in a section next to the burial chamber. The excavators did not find the tomb completely intact raising suspicion of a possibility of thieves robbing the tomb probably immediately after the burial of the king and sealing of the tomb (Mark 1).
The excavation is said to have led to the recover of the following objects, “accessories, clothing, cosmetic equipment, furniture, game equipment, human mummies, lighting equipment, models, mummy trappings, scarabs and seals, sculpture, tomb equipment, transport, vegetal remains, vessels, and warfare and hunting equipment” (Mark 1).
The first art and equally treasure which was in the burial chamber was the gold inner coffin. After being mummified, a king was laid to rest in such a cabin. This is obviously an indication of a very rich kingdom or we can make an assumption that gold was readily available but whichever was the case it was truly a show of a great respect for the departing king.
It was noted that only the burial chamber was decorated. The walls of the burial chambers had a golden background. On the west wall, there were “ape sketches of the first hour of Amduat” (Mark 1). A vivid description of the art decoration on the walls of burial chambers is as follows:
On the south wall the king is followed by Anubis as he appears before Hathor. Here, there is also a scene of the King being welcomed into the underworld by Hathor, Anubis and Isis. The north wall depicts the King before Nut with the royal ka embracing Osiris. Finally, on the east wall, Tutankhamun’s mummy is depicted being pulled on a sledge during the funeral procession. Within the procession are two viziers to the king, and a third person who might be Horemheb. (Mark 1)
The burial chamber must have taken a lot of time to prepare. More arts work found in the burial chamber.
The treasury chamber must have contained a lot of treasury. It can be assumed that this was probably the target of the thieves who are said to have been keen on robbing the kings’ tombs (Vermon 1). From the architecture of the tomb, the thieves must have done some extra work to reach the treasury owing to its far location from the entrance.
Tutankhamun’s tomb is well known in the world for been one of the best preserved tombs in the world. The artifact in Tutankhamun’s tomb which was full of treasures has made a lot of people including archaeologist and scientist develop interest about ancient Egypt daily life. King Tutankhamun’s tomb even today continues to puzzle scientists and archeologists.
Bayuk, Andrew. The Boy king. Guardians, 2005. Web. 6th October 2011.
Lorenzi, Rossella. Inside King Kut’s Tomb. Discovery News, 2011. Web. 08th October 2011.
Mark, Andrews. Egypt Feature Story: The Tomb of Tutankhamun (King Tut). Tour Egypt, 2011. Web. 6th October 2011.
Phil, Jones. The discovery of king Tut’s Tomb. History Magazine, 2008. Web. 6th October 2011.
Vermon, Jennifer. King Tut Treasure to return to US in 2005. National Geographic News, 2005. Web. 08th October 2011.