The Discovery Of The Tomb Of Tutankhamen

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The discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen
The event that changed archaeologist’s knowledge on the previously little known Egyptian civilisation
Figure 1.1
Tutankhamen’s coffin

Figure 1.2
Side panel of wooden chest
Figure 1.3
Chariots (left hand side)

Figure 1.4
An Egyptian game of senet

figure 1.5
A shabti

Tutankhamen/attan( later explained in this report) was not a ‘famous’ pharaoh of Egypt, he was not a powerful leader, he was not responsible for the flourishing of his empire, so put short, he did not do anything significant compared to some other pharaohs. So why was this minor pharaoh’s discovery so special to Howard carter and the entire archaeological community? The answer, his tomb. Many past tombs of others that had been discovered were almost empty! This was thought to be the work of thieves. Many past tombs were extravagantly built, and normally in obvious areas. Hence they might as well of had a brightly lit up sign pointing to the tombs saying, ‘free treasure’. Now, Tutankamuns tomb was a special case, as it surprisingly was found in an area where Howard looked last. Because of this location the tomb was untouched. This was extraordinary news to the archaeologists because this meant that all the artefacts remained inside. These valuable objects gave an insight into Egyptian society like no other tomb had about the role of the pharaoh, the military, Egyptian society, their burial customs and their views on religion and afterlife.

The role of the pharaoh

Pharaohs were the leaders of Egypt. They took on the role of being the symbolic father of the people, His duty was to care for and control (discipline) his ‘children’. These overwhelming duties were placed on tutankamuns young shoulders. This can be shown on his coffin (figure1.1), where he is shown holding a crook in his left hand and a flail on his right. This is significantly important as the crook is a symbol of leadership, and the flail, is the symbol of dicipline. They Archaeologists now know that pharaohs were not just leaders, but something much more. They were warriors. Tut may not have been so great, but his tomb disagreed. Most paintings on walls and artefacts present ideas that tut was almighty. This can be shown in figure 1.2 where he is the largest ( most powerful) person in the painting. He can be seen in the picture as single handedly defeating many enemies. Even the Egyptian soldiers are smaller than the pharaoh suggesting that he himself was most responsible for the win. He was the chief priest, he was the link between life and afterlife, he was ‘god on earth’. This can be shown through his name in which ‘tutankhamun’ means ‘living image of amun’ who was the most powerful god in Egyptian religion.

The military
There are different chariots found in the antechamber (fig 1.3), some for battle and some recreational (hunting, racing). The war chariots suggest that Egyptians took battles seriously, even to the extent of putting them there so that they could be used in the