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Discovering Tut: The Saga Continues

Objectives
• Study of Tut’s Mummy (Three phases)
• C.T. Scan
• Archaeology-changes over the years
• Tut’s family line
• Egyptian Mummy Project
• Tut’s funerary treasures

1 mark
Why did Carter have to chisel away the solidified resins to raise the king’s
remains?
Carter found that the ritual resin that was used as a polish has hardened. The result was
that the mummy was cemented to the bottom of the solid gold coffin. Neither the
strongest force could move the mummy nor the burning sun could loosen the remains of
the king.

2 marks
Why was King Tut’s body subjected to repeated scrutiny?
King Tut’s body has been subjected to repeated scrutiny for the riches it was buried
with. There has also been a lot of speculation about the manner of his death and the
time of his death.

Why was Howard Carter’s investigation resented?


Howard Carter’s investigation was resented because he used unscientific methods to cut
the body away from the wooden base. He also focused more on the discovery of gold
than on the fascinating details of Tut's life and the mysteries of his death.

Why was Tut’s body buried along with gilded treasures?


The people of Ancient Egypt believed that the soul of the dead person will return to the
same body. Their kings were extremely rich and they were buried along with their
treasure. The eternal brilliance of the gold was meant to guarantee resurrection. Tut was
also buried with everyday objects that he would want in his after life. Some of the
things that were found were board games, a bronze razor, linen undergarments and
cases of food and wine.

The boy king changed his name from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun. What was
the reason?
Tutankhamun means ‘Living image of Amun’. He was a major god in ancient Egypt.
King Amennotep smashed the images of Amun and closed his temples. Tut oversaw a
restoration of the old ways. He also changed his name to express his belief on Amun.

Why is January 5, 2005 significant in Tutankhamen’s Saga?


January 5, 2005 is a significant date in Tutankhamen’s saga because on this day, the
world’s most famous mummy glided head first went into a C.T scanner in order to
probe the lingering medical mysteries around the young ruler who had died 3300 years
ago.

How was the atmosphere when Tut’s body was taken for C.T scan?
As King Tut’s body was taken from his resting place in the ancient Egyptian cemetery
known as the Valley of the Kings, an angry wind stirred up ghostly dust devils. Dark-
bellied clouds had moved across the desert sky all day and covered the stars in grey
colour.

How did the visitors to Tut’s grave pay their respects to him?
The visitors to Tut’s grave gazed at the murals on the walls of the burial chamber and
peered at Tut’s gilded face. Some visitors read from guidebooks in a whisper.

What according to A.R Williams were the thoughts of the visitors who stood
silently near Tut’s Grave?
The visitors stood silently perhaps pondering over Tut’s untimely death. Perhaps they
wondered if the pharaoh’s curse – death or misfortune falling on those who disturbed
him – was really true.

The mummy is in a very bad condition because of what Carter did in the 1920s.’
Who is Carter? What did he do to the mummy?
Howard Carter was the British archaeologist who in 1922 discovered Tut’s tomb after
years of futile searching. He and his team had searched the tomb trying to look for
objects of royalty from the rich collection of the pharaoh’s legend. They ended up
spoiling and destroying the carefully kept mummy.

What problem did Carter face when he reached the mummy? How did he find a
way out?
Carter, on investigating, opened the three nested coffins. When he finally reached the
mummy, he saw that the ritual resins had hardened, cementing Tut to the bottom of his
solid gold coffin. It was difficult to remove it. He had to chisel away the consolidated
material from beneath the limbs and trunk.

How did Carter defend his action of cutting the mummy free?
Carter in his defense wrote later that if he hadn’t cut the mummy free, thieves would
have avoided the guards and ripped it apart to remove all the gold. The mummy had
been kept with a lot of wealth, in the form of gold ornaments, etc.

List some of the ornaments and golden objects on Tut’s body.


Tut’s body had been adorned with precious collars, inlaid necklaces and bracelets,
rings, amulets, a ceremonial apron, sandals, sheaths for his fingers and toes. The inner
coffin and mask were all made of pure gold.

Why do you think the royals carried so much gold to the grave?
The royals carried a lot of wealth to the grave because the stunning artifacts in gold and
their eternal brilliance meant to guarantee resurrection for the dead royal person.

What is so special about the contents of Tut’s tomb?


Tut’s tomb not only contained a number of adornments of pure gold on his body but
also he had been buried with everyday things he would want in the after life: board
games, a bronze razor, linen undergarments, cases of food and wine.

Which evidence proves the burial of Tut in March or April?


The first coffin, on being opened, revealed a shroud adorned with garlands of willow
and olive leaves, wild celery, lotus petals and cornflowers, the faded evidence of a
burial in March or April.

What startling fact came to light in 1968 through the X-Ray?


Forty years, after Howard and his team had investigated the tomb thoroughly, in 1968,
an anatomy professor X-Rayed the mummy and revealed the startling fact that beneath
the resin that cakes his chest, breast bone and front ribs were missing.

How can C.T scan prove more effective than X-Rays?


C.T scan can prove more effective than X-Rays because it produces hundreds of X-
Rays in cross section which are put together like slices of bread to create a three
dimensional virtual body.

Which questions still linger about Tut?


The two biggest questions that still linger about Tut are –how did he die and how old
was he at the time of his death? He was the last of his family’s line, and his funeral was
the death rattle of a dynasty but the particulars of his passing away and its after math
were unclear.

How was Tut’s body carried to the C.T scanner?


On the night of the scan, workmen carried Tut from the tomb in his box. Like
pallbearers they climbed a ramp and a flight of stairs into the swirling sand outside.
Then they rose on a hydraulic lift into the trailer that held the scanner.

What snag did the million dollar scanner develop? How was it set right?
The million dollar scanner had developed a snag because of sand in a cooler fan.
Eventually substitute fans worked well enough to finish the procedure.

A.R Williams says, ‘King Tut is……. In death, as in life moving regally ahead of
his countrymen’. How far do you agree with the assertion and why?
The Pharaohs of Egypt, over the years have fascinated the historians, archaeologists and
public but the Greatest marvel ever, is the boyish king- Tutankhamen. He had died
3300 years ago when he was in teens and had ruled for only nine years. He had brought
about a few changes during his brief rule. These changes were significant because they
marked restoration of the old ways of worship of Amun. Public curiosity remained alive
as to the causes and modes of his death as well as his exact age at the time of his death.
After his death, his dead body has been a centre of scientific examination. Howard
Carter, the British archaeologist discovered Tut’s tomb in 1922. A lot of findings were
brought to light when it was dug out. Later, in 1968, an anatomy Professor X-Rayed the
mummy only to find a few of its bones missing and broken. The Egyptian Mummy
Project which began in late 2003 has so far recorded 600 and is still continuing. The
next phase of C.T scanning with a portable C.T machine began on 5th January 2005.
The pride of place went to King Tut, whose mummy was the first to undergo C.T scan.
Hence, the assertion that in death as in life, King Tut moved regally ahead of his
countrymen.

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