It’s time to plan my next vacation, and I think it might be: EGYPT! But, until I can actually get there, let me just say that visiting The Discovery of King Tut, a new exhibition right here in New York, it felt like I was transformed back in time, 3,000 years ago, to ancient Egypt.
We all know who King Tut is, right? Just in case you slept through that part of history class, let me remind you. Tutankhamun (as he was originally knows) was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom. Referred to as King Tut, he had a very short reign of about nine years. He didn’t accomplish much in that time, but what is fascinating is that his tomb was discovered in tact, back in 1922. Since that discovery, many people have tried to uncover mysteries of his life and death.
In comes this guy: Archaeologist Howard Carter. Talk about determination!
This guy had squads and squads of people, digging and digging, for five winters! Five years of never giving up, and then finally, nearly a century ago he blew people away when he made the astounding discovery of the undisturbed tomb of Tutankhamun.
The Exhibition takes you back, thousands of years and explains how this very determined archeologist discovered the lost tomb of King Tutankhamun after a long search. Here you can see exact reconstructions of three burial chambers that reveal themselves just as Carter saw them in 1922.
Its pretty creepy (but at the same time very cool), how eerily real the replicas are. From the jeweler (my favorite) to the tombs, to the artifacts found.
Here are a few of the peices that were key in the dicovery.
The four shrines and Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus that were discovered by Howard Carter in the burial chamber form the heart of the royal burial – presented as an ensemble nested into one another.
The Golden Mask.
The face of the bandaged mummy was hidden by the unique golden mask. It is not a portrait of Tutankhamun, rather it shows the king as ever-lasting and divine and is his immortal ‘replacement face’. It is made of about 11kg of solid gold and is today mankind’s most internationally famous work of art.
The Golden Coffins.
The coffins provide protective covers for the mummy. All three coffins depict the late king mummiform and are wrapped in a feather dress, holding insignia of power in crossed hands. The patron goddesses of Upper and Lower Egypt, the vulture and the snake, adorn the forehead.
Canopic Shrine & Mummification Preserving the Body for Eternal Life.
The ancient Egyptians believed that the body was still needed in the afterlife. During mummification, the bowels were removed from the body and buried in four jars, called canopic jars. The body itself was dried with sodium salt for several weeks to preserve it and wrapped in linen bandages.
The House of Eternity Today, the original tomb and burial treasure can only be seen separately: the tomb is located in the Valley of Kings and the objects, apart from the outer coffin, the stone sarcophagus and the mummy, are housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
The Golden Throne
A Symbol of Divine Royal Power Tutankhamun’s throne is an expression of the absolute power of the King, a power that encompasses both the worldly and the divine.
A King Appears as the Sun The lavishly decorated chariot is unsuitable for battle and probably served as Tutankhamun’s state coach. The shining gilding and the sun hawk on the shaft indicate that the King appeared in it as the sun god incarnated on earth.
Figures of Gods and the King Ritual Helpers for the Afterlife
The mysterious and beautifully gilded figures of gods and the King probably served ritual purposes at the resurrection of the dead King in the afterlife. They were found wrapped in linen in the treasury in small black boxes.
Jewelry and Furniture
An Elegant Home without Cupboards An upper-class Egyptian household consisted mostly of furniture for sitting and reclining, as well as boxes and chests in which primarily textiles and jewelry were stored. Cabinets were unheard-of even in a royal household.
A series of lectures by renowned Egyptologists, and a gallery featuring the special relationship between New York and King Tut will also accompany the exhibition.
You can also take part in "Tut Talks"- Visitors to The Discovery of King Tut will be able to enjoy talks, tours and special events by such renowned speaker as "Mr Mummy" Bob Brier (Author, Lecturer at Long Island University), Catharine Roehrig (Author, Curator at the Egyptian Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Kara Cooney (Author, Professor at the University of California in Los Angeles). The former head of Antiquities in Egypt, Zahi Hawass, will also visit from Cairo to give a talk and sign his books, "The Discovery of Tutankhamun – From Howard Carter to DNA," and the brand-new "The Golden Boy – History for Kids," both accompanying publications to the exhibition.
The Discovery of King Tut is scheduled to run through May 1, 2016. Tickets are $29 for adults and $20 for children. It’s located at Premier Exhibitions at 5th Avenue. The address is 417 5th Avenue New York, NY 10016 (it’s also home to Saturday Night Live – The Exhibition). Easy walking distance from other great Big Apple landmarks. Just 4 blocks from Grand Central Station and 4 blocks from the Empire State Building.
For groups and discount tickets please visit www.TutNYC.com
And there you have it, a little anccient history lesson, courtesy of me and King Tut!