By Robert Brizel
Most people presume that when the tomb of an ancient Egyptian Pharoah is excavated, that that the tomb was especially built for the deceased king. Contrary to public belief, the tomb of the great King Tut-Ankh-Amun was not meant for the deceased young king at all, despite all of the riches and archeological finds that captured the attention of the world in 1922.
King Tuts tomb was originally meant for a high official, not King Tut. The tomb was available when Tut-Ankh-Amen died and was hastily reconverted for the mummy and filled with riches in its rooms before being sealed for posterity. Most other tombs were robbed by tomb robbers, but the Magic of King Tut is found within the tomb, because King Tut-Ankh-Amuns tomb remained undiscovered for more than 3000 years!
King Tut-Ankh-Amun ruled in the fourteenth century B.C. during the years 1333 to 1223 approximate. He first resided in Cairo, later in Memphis. During the ninth year of his rule, Egyptian marched into Northern Syria to assist its ally, the Mittanian Kingdom, which was at war with vassals of the Hitterites. Tutankamen unexpectedly died during the hostilities. He was succeeded by his vizier, regent, and army General Ay. It was Ay who is buried in the tomb originally meant for King Tut.
English Egyptologists Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon found King Tut-Ank-Amuns tomb in 1922 after an extensive search. The burial chamber was a rarity as it was opened intact after several milleniums.
Tut-Ankh-Kamuns mummy was found in three coffins made of gold,the first two being gold over wood, the innermost coffin of solid gold. On the Kings mummy face lay a magnificent portrait mask, and many pieces of jewelry and amulets covered the mummy as well. Other surrounding rooms to the burial chambers contained a chariot, furniture, clothes, statues, and other objects of archeological and historical value.
Lord Carnarvon owned the rights to digging in the Valley of the Kings and was a rich man, but searched in vain for five years without finding the tomb of King Tut-Ankh-Amen. Howard Carter offered to pay for the workers if Carnarvon would let him search. Four days after his expedition began, Carters workers found a set of steps leading to a room with a fake door. From there, Carter found a main chamber, a storage room and the burial chamber. There was no curse on the tomb for those who worked there. Unfortunately, bacteria sealed in the tomb had fed on the food in the tomb and killed workers who went into the tombs by getting into their lungs. Hieroglyphics in the tomb, Nep, Kheperu and Rev refer to Tut. Carter was on the right trail before he found King Tut-Ankh-Amun. Close discoveries Carter made earlier in the Valley of the Kings were objects with Tuts and Ays name, including King Tuts embalming materials. It would take Howard Carter almost ten years to document the over 5000 objects found inside the tomb. The dead kings principal coffin weighed 296 pounds of gold! Unfortunately Lord Carnarvon would die only five months after the discovery, but it was the bacteria inside the tomb, not the mythical curse of Osiris, that felled the Fifth Earl of Carnarvon.
We will never know the true extent of the Magic of King Tut. This is because Tut-Ankh-Amuns burial site was robbed twice before Howard Carter got there. The patchwork on the sealed tomb doors bearing the pharoah Tut-Ankh-Amuns royal seals indicate these break ins occurred only a short time after King Tut had died, so Carter and Lord Carnarvon still had phenomenal reason to be excited as this tomb had still miraculously been sealed for thousands of years undisturbed and undiscovered. The burial chamber was intact, but the rest of the underground chamber was not. There had been two earlier robberies thousands of years before by (apparently) the same tomb robbers.
The first theft netted the robbers some precious gold and jewelry meant to accompany young King Tut on his voyage to the underworld. It appears the same tomb robbers came back a second time to steal oils stored in large alabaster jars by pouring them into empty goatskins. Priests of the Necropolis then managed to reseal Tuts tomb for good, and its location was forgotten and lost with the passage of time thanks to other tombs built over it. Other search and find archeological expeditions did not go deep enough under the rubble of other tomb excavations. It would be found on November 4, 1922, a set of sixteen hidden descending steps to the front and the north of the tomb of Ramses VI.
A bone sliver in his cranium and a poor spine may indicate Tut was murdered. Tut-Ankh-Amuns widow, Ankh-Esen-Amun, did not want to marry one of the ambitious men around her. So she wrote to the King of the Hitterites, Suppiluliumas I, if he had a young son she could marry. Messengers were sent by the Hitterites verifying the inquiry. Finally, Prince Zannanza of the Hitterites was sent to Egypt and promptly murdered, thanks to Generals Ay and Horemheb. She then married Ay.
Click on Click to Enter at King Tuts Virtual Tomb which is found at http://www.kingtutone.com/tutankhamun/enter/ to experience the discoveries of Howard Carter as first seen in 1922. Click on the arrows to maneuver forward, backward, to the left and to the right in Tuts Tomb.
IF you want to see an authentic multi-room recreation of King Tut-Ankh-Amuns tomb, you dont have to go to Egypt. Fly local. The King Tut Museum at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas is a like recreation of the tomband its contents to the smallest handcrafted and painted item details.Go to http://www.crystalinks.com/tut.html to see the beautiful King Tut mask and read more about his life. You can click on at the bottom of the page Please Enter King Tutankhamen Tombs to see the color tomb map. A link at the bottom of that second page brings you to Howard Carters diaries 1922-1923 or go to http://www.ashmol.ox.ac.uk/gri/4sea1not.html. Fascinating reading.
Principal artist of Egyptian Exploration Funds Deir El Bahbri excavation, Howard Carter was subsequently appointed First Inspector General of the Monuments of Upper Egypt and supervised all archeology in the Upper Nile Valley. Among his early accomplishments included overseeing the first electric lights in excavated tombs and temples of Egypt. Unfortunately an incident in which tomb guards fought with drunken French tourists forced Carter to resign from the Antiquities Service in 1905. He then painted watercolors and dealt antiquities until he was able to obtain sponsorship funding for private archeological digs as the Supervisor of Excavations for George Herbert (5th Lord of Carnarvon). Carter became an antiquities collector and spent much of his time at the Old Winter Palace Hotel in Luxor, Egypt, keeping to himself. He died in Kensington, England at age 65. For Carters biography and a picture of Carter working on the golden sarcophagus of King Tut-Ankh-Amun you can go to http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/carter.htm. Click Return to Tour Egypt at bottom of page if you are planning a trip!