Skip

Revisiting King Tutankhamun's Tomb
August 27, 2010 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Ten thousand tourists have tramped above the spot where the latest find has just been made. Other archeologists, looking for the needle entrance to the royal tomb of Tutankhamen in the limestone haystack of el Qorn, came within a few feet of where, after sixteen years of labor, the late Lord Carnarvon and Mr. Howard Carter found their reward. National Geographic republished the photos (flash gallery) and the text of the 1923 account of the opening of the tomb of King Tutankhamun.

If you want to see the images directly, you'll miss the text descriptions, but you can get to the images by editing this URL, where the images are numbered 01 to 20, even though there are only 17 pictures in the flash gallery (images 04, 12 and 17 were excluded).

In 2005, Nat Geo posted a narrated and interactive views of the tomb, Tutankhamun's royal wrappings, and a forensic investigation of the remains for the article entitled "King Tut Revealed," plus links to more Nat Geo resources. The National Geographic Channel have also put the a documentary from the same time on YouTube - NGC Presents: King Tut's Final Secrets (92 minutes).

For more views on the past from the past, Time Magazine's online archive turns up more odd gems, with such updates as this one from October 5, 1923:
Work in the Valley of the Kings at Luxor proceeded with painstaking slowness incomprehensible to the layman who would prefer to tear the secrets of the ages from TutankhAmen's breast in a day.
And there were a couple of imaginary interviews that invoked King Tut. Also on the lighter side, this bit of insight into the value of young King Tut's wealth:
The combined value of all the objects in the tomb of King "Tut" is put at $15,000,000. Had this sum been invested in safe 6 per cent bonds 3,400 years ago, it would today amount to $4,800, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000.
In 1934, the Curse of the Mummy had the national attention, especially after the death of Arthur Edward Pearse Brome Weigall, Weigall was an Egyptologist involved with the discovery and excavation of King Tutankhamun's tomb, and a vocal believer in (or the one who started) talk of the curse, which was prime material for international newspapers covering anything related to Egyptian discoveries.

If all these names and details are running together, this page provides an overview of the discovery, covering the people involved, the curse of the mummy, and the contents of the tomb.
posted by filthy light thief (13 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
great post. Amazing to see the artifacts where they were found (that's what the geographic pictures show, right?). Would be nice to link objects in the National Geographic pictures to contemporary pictures of where the stuff is now.
posted by cogneuro at 11:18 AM on August 27, 2010


cogneuro - the wiki page on exhibitions of artifacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun says that there are thousands of artifacts, most of which are in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, but there are two consecutive world tours of artifacts. One is Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs (official site), and the other is Tutankhamun: The Golden Hereafter (news article from 2004). Neither exhibit sound to be terribly large, so I'd guess most of what is in the pictures is probably still in Egypt.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:31 AM on August 27, 2010


Yes, but how much money would King Tut have if he invested in DotCom stocks?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:36 AM on August 27, 2010


Will I die if I view the links?
posted by unliteral at 11:41 AM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


For anyone who missed it, Arthur Phillips wrote an interesting fictional novel threaded through these historical events called The Egyptologist.
posted by mannequito at 12:21 PM on August 27, 2010


I think all the pipes in the internet filter out threats, and pictures of cursed items aren't themselves cursed, if I understood that mystic properly.

Fun comparison: A) between 30 and 100 dead (including 1 dog), depending on the math, and B) many of the key individuals associated with the discovery and work on the tomb lived to a ripe old age, with a list of key individuals who lived long and productive lives (save poor Lord Carnarvon, who fell ill and, with his resistance lowered, came down with pneumonia and eventually passed away at the age of 57).

More photos: Wonderful Things: The Harry Burton Photographs and the Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun (a few pictures from the exhibit), and a list of every item found and pictures to boot. The numbers on the right side refer to the number of descriptive cards and the number of photographs taken. Some items weren't photographed, but others were recorded in great detail. Mind you, there are 620 items in the Carter Numbering, but many have sub-items or sub-sets. You can also browse by gallery of photos by Harry Burton, which look to be the same shots to the National Geographic photos, but with higher contrast and some details washed out.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:30 PM on August 27, 2010


So he wasn't "born in Arizona, moved to Babylonia"??? Steve Martin LIED to me?!?!?
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:36 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've never understood why everything in the chamber appeared to just be thrown in haphazardly. Did the contents just settle? Did some things rot away and collapse? Did earthquakes knock them over?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:24 PM on August 27, 2010


Cool Papa Bell: "I've never understood why everything in the chamber appeared to just be thrown in haphazardly. Did the contents just settle? Did some things rot away and collapse? Did earthquakes knock them over?"

Not to worry, Tut's slaves were with him to clean it up.
posted by bwg at 5:46 PM on August 27, 2010


Will I die if I view the links?

Eventually, yes.
posted by The World Famous at 7:15 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've never understood why everything in the chamber appeared to just be thrown in haphazardly.

The tomb was robbed at least twice not long after he was interned. I remember reading that they had found items apparently dropped in the antechamber by the thieves. I imagine the caretakers at the time had little interest in straightening everything up before they re-sealed (or failed to re-seal in some cases) the doors.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:49 PM on August 27, 2010


For anyone who missed it, Arthur Phillips wrote an interesting fictional novel threaded through these historical events called The Egyptologist.

And David Macaulay, the architecture-obsessed illustrator (Pyramid, City) wrote a crackling parody called Motel of the Mysteries.
posted by dhartung at 6:11 PM on August 28, 2010


Where do I buy these safe 6% bonds you speak of?
posted by jpdoane at 8:58 PM on August 28, 2010


« Older Turns out the plane isn't crashing...   |   Mama, just killed a man Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post