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The Tomb of Tutankhamen

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What does the tomb of Tutankhamen and its contents show about the Egyptian concern for the afterlife? Tutakhamen's tomb, and the artifacts inside are an indication of the concern the Ancient Egyptians held for the after-life of their king. On the 26th of Nov. 1922, the English archaeologist Howard Carter opened the virtually intact tomb of a largely unknown pharaoh, Tutankhamen. This was the first, and the finest royal tomb found in the history of Egyptology. It took almost a decade of meticulous and painstaking work to empty the tomb of Tutankhamen. Around 3500 individual items were recovered. When the Burial Chamber of Tutankhamen was officially opened, on 17 February 1923, the Antechamber had been emptied. It had taken near fifty days to empty the Antechamber; the time required to dismantle and restore the contents of the Burial Chamber including the gilded wooden and the sarcophagus was to be greater, and the work was not completed until November 1930, eight years after the original discovery. One must examine both the tomb itself, and its contents, to see the connection between the tombs and burial rituals and the doctrine of eternal life. The royal tombs were not merely homes in the hereafter for the kings, as are the private tombs of commoners and nobility. Instead the tombs are cosmological vehicles of rebirth and deification as much as "houses of eternity." As the king is supposed to become a deity, he is equipped with anything he may need in his journey beyond this world. And as the king is supposed to become Rê in a way entirely unavailable to commoners, he is equipped with his very own passage of the sun, whether this is thought of as the way through the underworld or through the heavens. Tutankhamon's tomb, hurriedly prepared for the premature death of the king at the age of only about 18, is, as Romer says, a "hole in the ground," compared to a proper royal tomb. The theme of fours is conspicuous in Egyptian religious practice. Tutankhamon's tomb contains four chambers. The burial chamber, with a ritual if not an actual orientation towards the West, is the chamber of departure towards the funeral destinies. The internment of the body certainly is the beginning of the sojourn of the dead, and the Egyptians saw the dead as departing "into the West." The room called the "Treasury" is then interpreted to h... ... middle of paper ... ...er and sheath to protect him during his journey to the after-life, and 143 amulets and pieces of jewelry were scattered through the several layers of bandages that wrapped his corpse. In conclusion it is possible to say that Tutankhamen's tomb gave the modern world an excellent insight into the Egyptian's belief in the after-life. Both the tomb itself, and its contents, show how much importance the Egyptians placed on the doctrine of Eternal life, and how strong their belief was that their King would be resurrected as a god. Thus, the tomb of Tutankhamen and its contents show that the Egyptian concern for the after-life, was very strong, and that they went to great lengths to ensure that the eternal life of their kings. Bibliography Works Cited Gardiner, Sir Alan. “Egypt of the Pharoahs.” Great Britain: Oxford University Press. 1966 Lehner, Mark. “The Complete Pyramids, Solving the Ancient Mysteries.” Great Britain: 1977 Thames and Hudson "The Internet" Chronology of the New Kingdom Tombs of the Valley of the Kings
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