Assess Tutankhamun's Tomb For What It Reveals About New Kingdom Egyptian Society.

1376 words - 6 pages

The discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb by Howard Carter in 1922 is considered the most important archaeological find of the century. As one of the most intact monuments of Ancient Egypt, Tutankhamen's tomb reveals a great deal about the burial customs, role of the king, religious beliefs, leisurely pursuits and food of New Kingdom Egypt.Being so intact when Carter made the discovery, the shrine of Tutankhamun gives us a strong indication of the burial practises of the New Kingdom Egyptians. The Canopic Shrine situated on the east wall of the Treasury holds Tutankhamun's embalmed internal organs. A gold chest held four Canopic jars containing the dead pharaoh's internal organs - lungs, stomach, intestines and liver - in each jar. Clearly, during the process of mummification, the embalmers must have removed the viscera and preserved them in the Canopic jars, perhaps to be taken with the pharaoh to the next world. The third and innermost of three mummiform coffins of Tutankhamun is made of solid gold and is inlaid with semiprecious stones and coloured glass. It is covered with incised decorations and inscriptions inside and outside. It bears the names and epitaph of the deceased king and also protective texts. From this we learn how important the decoration of the mummy was, and the power the coffin was believed to hold. The coffin is shaped in the form of the god Osiris holding the sacred insignia, the heka sceptre and the flail. He wears a divine beard is made of gold inlaid with blue glass, and a vulture and cobra situated on his forehead are protecting him from evil and ensuring safe passage into the other world. All of these are royal symbols of the Pharaoh and signify once again his direct alignment with the gods.The 35 model boats found in the Treasury Room of Tutankhamun's tomb gives us an indication of the favoured transport of the New Kingdom Egyptians, and also reveals the wide variety in the form and design of actual boats and ships. The Nile river was the main way of travelling in Ancient Egypt, so boats and ships were very important means of transportation. The designs of the boats, made of painted wood and papyrus, seem to fit different functions such as fishing, cargo and transport. Some of the boats have masts and cabins, presumably for sheltering the king and his officials. Some of boats would allow the deceased to accompany Osiris and Re, others would allow him to travel and take part in hunting in the marshes. It is presumed that most of the models were connected with Tutankhamun's pilgrimage to Abydos, or act symbolically to transport the king, as sun god, on his journey along the streams of the underworld to complete the cycle of resurrection.It was important for the Pharaoh to be seen as a hunter, and hunting seems to have been an important aspect of New Kingdom life. This is demonstrated by the discovery of boomerangs in the antechamber, which give us an indication of the hunting techniques and beliefs of the New Kingdom...

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