tomb of tutankhamun

This awesomely historic photo shows the unbroken seal on the ancient Egyptian tomb of a young pharaoh named Tutankhamun, aka King Tut, exactly as it appeared when it was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter and George Herbert, untouched for 3,245 years.

Behind those doors waited one of the best preserved Egyptian tombs that has ever been discovered, the most complete ancient Egyptian royal tomb ever found. The relics found within are among the most traveled artifacts in the world.

As Jon Manchip White writes, in his foreword to the 1977 edition of Carter’s The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun, “The pharaoh who in life was one of the least esteemed of Egypt’s Pharoahs has become in death the most renowned.”

Today it seems everyone knows something about King Tut, in fact we’re still learning more about him today. But when this photo was taken in 1922, no living soul had ever heard of Tutankhamun (let alone dressed up their dog like him for Halloween), and this marvelous tomb hadn’t been touched for over 3,000 years. What an awesome moment.

Photograph by Harry Burton, Griffith Institute, Oxford, 1923

[via Reddit and Wikipedia]

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Howard Carter was an English archaeologist and Egyptologist known for discovering the tomb of 14th-century BC pharaoh Tutankhamun.

On 4 November 1922, Howard Carter’s excavation group found the steps leading toTutankhamun's tomb (subsequently designated KV62), by far the best preserved and most intact pharaonic tomb ever found in the Valley of the Kings. Carter made the “tiny breach in the top left hand corner” of the doorway, and was able to peer in by the light of a candle and see that many of the gold and ebony treasures were still in place. He made the breach into the tomb with a chisel his grandmother had given him for his seventeenth birthday. He did not yet know at that point whether it was “a tomb or merely a cache”, but he did see a promising sealed doorway between two sentinel statues.

On 16 February 1923, Carter opened the sealed doorway, and found that it did indeed lead to a burial chamber, and he got his first glimpse of the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun.

The clearance of the tomb with its thousands of objects continued until 1932.

He died of lymphoma in Kensington, London, on 2 March 1939 at the age of 64. The archaeologist’s natural death so long after the opening of the tomb, despite being the leader of the expedition, is the piece of evidence most commonly put forward by sceptics to refute the idea of a “curse of the pharaohs" plaguing the party that might have "violated" Tutankhamun’s tomb.

The north wall of the burial chamber depicts three separate scenes.
On the right, Ay, Tutankhamen’s successor, performs the ‘Opening of the Mouth’ ceremony on Tutankhamen, who is depicted as Osiris, lord of the underworld. In the middle scene, Tutankhamen, dressed in the costume of the living king, is welcomed into the realm of the gods by the goddess Nut. On the left, Tutankhamen, followed by his ka (spirit double), is embraced by Osiris.

Wooden Shabti of Tutankhamun; wood, gold, paint and copper alloy. Dynasty 18, reign of Tutankhamun (1332–1323 B.C.), Thebes, Valley of the Kings, tomb of Tutankhamun.

The shabtis and their tools (hoes, mattocks and baskets attached to yokes) are linked to an important belief about Osiris’ kingdom. Osiris is the god of the dead and the bondsman of the deceased’s survival after his death. It was believed that Osiris could summon his subjects - including the deceased king - to work in his fields or accomplish another manual task for him. In order to deal with this possibility, dozens of shabtis were placed in the king’s tomb: these little statuettes were meant to replace the king when he would be summoned by Osiris. In Tutankhamun’s tomb, for instance, there was a shabti for each day in a year and a few shabtis monitors.

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Valley of the Kings, is  within the heart of the Theban Necropolis.The wadi consists of two valleys, East Valley and West Valley. for many years, Ancient Egyptian kings were burried here, the most famous of them all is the Tomb of  Tutankhamun.