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– TUTANKHAMUN –
AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE PHARAOHS
By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka
For the first time in 30 years, the artifacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun return to the de Young Museum on June 27, 2009. Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs presents over 130 important objects including 50 from the tomb of King Tut. The exhibition places Tutankhamun in a larger context through an additional 80 objects from the tombs of his ancestors, which provide insight into the daily life and royal burial practices of the 18th Dynasty, Egypt’s Golden Age. Four additional objects from Tut’s tomb add luster and intrigue to the de Young’s presentation. The exhibition runs through March 28, 2010. Click here for more information: TUTANKHAMUN
Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs provides insight into the life of Tutankhamun and other royals of the 18th Dynasty (1555-1305 BC). All of the treasures in the exhibition are more than 3,000 years old.
Tutankhamun was one of the last kings of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty and ruled during a crucial, turmoil-filled period of Egyptian history. The boy king died under mysterious circumstances at the age of 18 or 19, in the ninth year of his reign (1323 BC). Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings was filled with magnificent treasures meant to ensure his divine immortality. Many objects belonging to the young king, including exquisite personal items used in his daily life, were placed in the tomb.
Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs offers glimpses of that critical period in Egyptian history. On display will be 50 of Tutankhamun’s burial objects, including one of the gold and precious stone inlaid canopic coffinettes that contained his mummified internal organs. Also included are many of the day-to-day objects enjoyed by the young king including a finely crafted child’s chair and an inlaid game board, one of four in the tomb.
The de Young presentation is part of a U.S. encore tour. New to the encore tour are two nested coffinettes that contained the remains of two fetuses that are now undergoing DNA testing to reveal their relationship to King Tut. Also new to the exhibition from Tutankhamun’s tomb is a beautiful bracelet featuring a central image of a scarab representing the sun god. An elaborate pectoral, a masterpiece of jewelry making, contains a rare, yellow-green glass stone carved in the shape of a scarab beetle that some scientists believe to be a fragment of an ancient meteorite.
More than 80 additional objects from tombs of 18th Dynasty royals, as well the possessions of elite individuals with close connections to the royal family also will be exhibited. These stone, faience and wooden pieces from burial sites before Tut’s reign will give visitors a sense of what the burials of both royalty and the elite may have been like and what the Egyptians of that time considered essential for the afterlife.
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