Source: D4K: “Archaeology"
Visit the D4K companion Web site to learn more about Archaeology: D4K: “Archaeology"
This video segment from IdahoPTV's D4K An Egyptologist discusses the significance of some of the objects found by Haward Carter in 1922 in King Tut's tomb. You see examples which include a shanti, an amulet, a chair, a dagger and a fan. She tells us what a tomb is and why it was important for the Egyptian culture.
CURATOR] King Tut I think is so fascinating for us because he's the one that we sort of know the most about.
[JOAN CARTAN-HANSEN] King Tutankhamen or King Tut lived in ancient Egypt about 3150 B.C.E. he came to the throne when he was about 8 or 9 and died when he was about 20. This is what artists think he might have looked like but we really don't know for sure. Scientists can only guess at what his life was like for the decade or so he ruled Egypt.
[CURATOR] Life for King Tut would have been very nice. He wasn't an average everyday egyptian so he probably didn't have a lot of hard labor that he had to do, right? He was a king.
We have an ostrich fan from this exhibition that shows - on the front of it, it shows King Tut with his bow and arrow in his chariot hunting the ostrich and on the back it shows the successful hunt. The attendants of the king are carrying the ostrich back and the feathers would be plucked and put in this fan that shows the hunt that actually captured the ostrich.
[JOAN] When an ancient Egyptian king died, a tomb would be dug in the valley of kings and all sorts of items would be placed inside. So what was in king Tut's tomb?
[CURATOR] Pretty much everything that he would use and need in his daily life and also everything that he would use and need in the afterlife which is essentially the same thing Because the Egyptians believed that when you had your rebirth into the afterlife, you would basically continue your life as you had on earth Only it would be totally ideal circumstances so you wouldn't have to do any work, there are no chores, everything would be provided for you. For someone today you might imagine that you take everything that is in your room, everything that is in your house and you put it into your tomb so that you could still use it in the afterlife.
The big deal about King Tut's tomb is that all of his stuff was still there. It was entered by robbers, probably once or twice but in ancient times So when howard carter came along everything was still there, the seals were still there on the tomb and so he actually was able to break the seals, look in and see everything just as it had been, just as it had been left. One of my favorite pieces is definitely the dagger and that's mainly because of just the amazing detail work on the hilt of the dagger.
Shawbtis were a very handy thing to have around. First of all they are sort of like the coffins in that they can be another body for you in case something happens to your mummy. Second, they would do all of your work for you in the afterlife. They are little figures are in the new kingdom. They are made in the likeness of the dead person and they're supposed to come alive and stand up and say here I am when you have anything that you want done.
The chair - that was made of very fine, very expensive material - ebony and ivory and there was a little bit of metal working done as well. It would have been just something that he would have used as a child, probably around the age of 8 or 9. It does look a little small but you have to remember that the egyptians were probably a little bit smaller than we are today.
[JOAN] The most important thing Howard Carter found in King Tut's tomb was King Tut himself.
[CURATOR] He would have been wrapped in very fine linens and throughout the linens they would have placed amulets and jewelry and all sorts of things that would have been useful to him. We have a dagger here on the actual place on the mummy after it was fully wrapped. His crown was placed on him.
The heart was left in the body because unlike the other organs it had a very strong religious significance because it was considered to be the seat of intelligence, sort of the way we think of the brain.
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