, pub-5063766797865882, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 The king's burial in Ancient Egypt ~ Ancient Egypt Facts

April 17, 2012

The king's burial in Ancient Egypt

The king's burial
The immediate availability of the gold coffin and mask as well as the large granite sarcophagus box suggests that provision for Tutankhamun's eventual burial had been in hand for some time. However, his actual death was obviously unexpected, for not only were a number of the items provided for the burial 'from stock' and originally intended for previous use, but even the tomb he was laid to rest in was not intended for him. Signs of haste are evident everywhere, since the ritual required that all preparations and the embalming be completed within a period of 70 days.

Mummy of Tutankhamun Location: KV62 at Valley of the Kings Discovery Date: February 12, 1924 Excavated by: Howard Carter
The tomb is far too small for a royal burial, and had almost certainly been granted as a royal favour to the elderly Ay in recognition of his signal service over the years. (There are other instances of high officials being granted a similar privilege of burial in the Valley of the Kings.) Because of the king's sudden demise, and the fact that this tomb was virtually ready, it was appropriated and steps immediately taken to decorate the burial chamber. Tutankhamun's intended tomb seems to be that found by Giovanni Belzoni in 1816 at the far end of the western Valley of the Kings (KV 23) and later used by Ay. This conforms to the pattern of 18th Dynasty royal tombs and was probably chosen with a propaganda motive in view, that is to bury the king fairly close to his grandfather Amenhotep III, thereby underlining the return to old ways and the old religion.

Tutankhamun Tomb

Amongst Tutankhamun's equipment there were a number of items that had obviously come from a funerary store. At least one of the great wooden shrines had been made for Smenkhkare, as had the four small gold coffinettes that held the king's viscera. It can be seen, sometimes with difficulty, where the earlier name had been excised and Tutankhamun's added over the top. It is also possible that the second (middle) coffin of the three (p. 133) had also been intended for Smenkhkare, since its features are unlike the other two and the miniature canopic coffinettes are copies of it.

Tutankhamun Mummy
Even the sarcophagus box was second-hand. Extensive recutting was undertaken, to the extent of removing all the original texts (thus lowering the surface), and adding new ones,- wings were also added to alter the standing figures of the goddesses (possibly because they were originally standing queens, as on Akhenaten's shattered sarcophagus?). The granite lid was made to fit the quartzite box - obviously a different material but, again, time may have been of the essence and a suitable slab of granite was available at Thebes. In the event there was an accident and the lid was split in two.

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