Artist Date: Exploring Tutankhamun’s Treasures

Tutankhamun, tomb, statue, ancient Egypt, culture, art, gold, treasures, pharaoh

Who here is not a fan of Ancient Egypt and its amazing cultural relics? I don’t think I know anybody who isn’t a fan and I’m always excited when a new exhibition featuring more Ancient Egyptian treasures rolls into town. This latest one is Tutankhamun – His Tomb and Treasures. It’s not a showcase of the actual treasures itself but reproductions of the items found in the tomb and last week I went to check it out on my first artist’s date of 2017.

When I got to the exhibition and bought my ticket, I was also given an audio guide to take around with me. The first couple of rooms featured some pictures and information of the excavations conducted on King Tutankhamun’s tomb, the Rosetta Stone and a statute of the boy-king himself.

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Tutankhamun, tomb, statue, ancient Egypt, culture, art

Above is a statue of the boy-king Tutankhamun. His successor, Horemheb, attempted to erase all records of Tutankhamun’s existence, even going so far as to label the above statue as one of himself. However, much later, Tutankhamun’s name was discovered inscribed at the back of the statue, restoring its rightful identity to itself. Ironic, that Horemheb went to all this trouble to erase Tutankhamun’s existence, only to have the boy-king become one of the most famous ancient Egyptians in the world today!

We were then ushered from the antechamber into a couple of theatres where we watched some short films detailing the discovery and excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon, who were two pretty colourful characters themselves, particularly the latter.

Following the films were displays set up to reveal what the treasures of the tomb looked like when Carter and Carnarvon first broke through inside.

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One would imagine they would have felt like real-life Indiana Joneses, coming upon all these treasures!

We were then ushered into the proper exhibit itself to look at the items on display at our leisure. Check out the beautiful turquoise and gold detailing of the wall below.

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The artists of Ancient Egypt were really something else and I can’t stop admiring the figures they painted depicting various scenes from the Book of the Dead.

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I got left behind by the group I was with because I couldn’t stop staring at the hieroglyphics on this gilded gold wall.

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And the jewellery! My favourite were these stunning colours, particular the bottom one painted to resemble lapis lazuli and various other gems.

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Also, check out these little alabaster shabtis below. I can never think of shabtis the same way now after reading China Mieville’s Kraken, where a certain shabti broke free of its slave bonds and became the leader of – wait for it – the Union of Magicked Assistants!

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I’m always fond of Anubis and every now and then I joke that I want a couple of these jackal-headed dudes guarding my front door. And perhaps the head of a divine cow to go with it?
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Replica of a throne – much comfier than the Game of Thrones seat, I’m thinking.

Tutankhamun, tomb, statue, ancient Egypt, culture, art, gold, treasures, pharaoh, throne

It was an amazing exhibition and I really enjoyed learning more about King Tut and the treasures of his tomb. It was a good way to begin my 2017 artist’s dates!

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