“Secret” Incredible Treasures Discovered in King Tut’s Tomb

When archaeologist Howard Carter and colleagues discovered King Tut’s tomb 100 years ago, he reported seeing “wonderful things.” Here are 30 lavish findings from the ancient Egyptian burial.

Tutankhamun’s tomb, discovered by archaeologists in the Valley of the Kings on Nov. 4, 1922, was found loaded with treasures. Some of those artifacts, like his death mask, are widely known. But others, such as a mannequin that may have helped the boy king choose what to wear, are less famous but offer insight into King Tut’s life. Here are 30 fascinating treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb and what they reveal about the iconic ancient Egyptian pharaoh 100 years after the discovery of his remains.

On the back of the death mask is a spell from the Book of the Dead, written in hieroglyphs, which “guaranteed the mask’s ability to function as the face of the deceased,” Marianne Eaton-Krauss(opens in new tab), a senior fellow at the American Research Center in Egypt, wrote in her book “The Unknown Tutankhamun(opens in new tab)” (Bloomsbury, 2016). She noted that the third innermost coffin that Tutankhamun was buried in has the same spell written on it.

Tutankhamun was buried with two daggers — one with an iron blade and one with a gold one. Both daggers were found wrapped in different layers of the pharaoh’s mummy bandages, according to the book “Iron from Tutankhamun’s Tomb(opens in new tab)” (American University in Cairo Press, 2022).

The dagger with the iron blade was placed by Tutankhamun’s right thigh, researchers noted in the book. The iron used in the dagger was out of this world, crafted from a meteorite, and the dagger has a pommel made of rock crystal as well as a gold handle with intricate patterns carved on it. The dagger with the gold blade, which also has a gold handle with intricate carvings, was found above the abdomen of Tutankhamun, the researchers wrote.

Both daggers show signs of wear, Katja Broschat(opens in new tab), a conservator at the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum and co-author of “Iron from Tutankhamun’s Tomb,” wrote in an email to Live Science. Broschat said it is not certain whether either dagger was ever used in a hunt or some other activity.

“There were hundreds of garments — 12 sumptuous robes, dozens of sandals, underwear, socks, even Tut’s baby clothes” that British archaeologist Howard Carter found in Tut’s tomb, Ranieri Roy noted. “It makes sense for such a ‘clothes horse’ to need a mannequin on which to hang, display ornate robes and jewelry, even perhaps for his wardrobe attendants to make and prepare outfits and make adjustments to the king’s vestments.”

The other throne, sometimes called the “golden throne,” has a depiction of Tutankhamun and his wife, Ankhesenamun, Tyldesley noted in her book. In his notes, Carter wrote that Ankhesenamun seems to be placing ointment or perfume on Tutankhamun.

 

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