Missed Part 1? It’s available here, and I covered my awesome anniversary gift, the bronze sea life statues outside the Pacific Science Center, and the bulk of the King TutanKhamun exhibit, up to where you get to see the artifacts of the actual tomb.
After all the small rooms, we finally went into the area that was actually King Tutankhamun’s tomb. The Pacific Science Center has a ramp up into their main rooms, where you see whatever exciting thing you’ve come to see, in this case, King Tut’s Tomb. There’s a whole background on how it was discovered, and what they found as you walk up, and then they sort the main area into 4 rooms, each one detailing part of his tomb.
The first room featured a bunch of intricate things, like this unguent vessel. It’s made of alabaster, which was pretty common to see through the exhibits. I don’t recall if they had a lot of it accessible, or simply traded for a bunch, but there was quite a bit. This was one of my favorite carved pieces though, the sheer amount of detail was impressive.
This box is really neat, and I took a lousy picture. I wish they’d displayed it differently though. The lid is isn’t exactly hinged, but it moves. That button looking bit at the top? Is a post going through the lid, and it swivels to reveal the inside, which I’m pretty sure was used to house cosmetics.
Senet! This game box was doubly interesting, because in addition to it being a Senet board, it was also for Tjam on the other side, which is another game. The little pieces were really neat, not overly detailed, but still neat. I’ve always been interested in Senet, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I like board games, or maybe because we don’t actually know how the game is played. There’s debate on how, but there’s no official rules.
This earring was one of 6 pairs of King Tutankhamun’s earrings. Talk about gauging your ears, that large center post is a hollow tube, with screw caps on each end. You’ve seen little old ladies with those droopy ear lobes from too heavy earrings for decades? Imagine what King Tut’s ear lobes would have looked like if he’d lived until he was 70.
When I die, I want to be buried with some Shabti, so please, remember that 🙂 King Tutankhamun was buried with 413 of these small figurines. They were dressed in various styles, with various tools, so when the call came in the afterlife for labor, one of them would take the king’s place. That way, even in death he wouldn’t have to work. There’s a section of the book of the dead on each Shabti, detailing it’s purpose and duties in the afterlife, in case it forgets. They had a bunch of these on display, I only bothered with photos of 2 of sets.
You know how you see all these photos of King Tut’s beautiful golden mask? It was all over Seattle on the drive up. This is most likely where the mask came from: a small gold coffinette. The mummy’s mask wasn’t actually here. So, this is essentially a canopic jar, this one held his stomach. It’s thought that Tutankhamun re appropriated this one from someone who came before him. Apparently it was not uncommon for pharaohs to do that, and when King Tut died, a good number of his things that weren’t in his tomb were also re appropriated.
And this is the lid that fit over the coffinnette. Again, made of beautiful carved alabaster, they think this one wasn’t re appropriated from another king, because it bears the likeness of King Tut himself. They believe that each organ went into a coffinette, and was then topped with one of these lids, and then put in a box. When the 4 jars went in, they fit snugly. The actual box wasn’t on display.
When we got to the final room, I was expecting to see a sarcophagus, or the mask, or something. It never occurred to me that the mummy might be there, but I knew King Tut was discovered with a solid gold sarcophagus, and several wooden coffins around him. I figured we’d see one of them.
We got this instead: it’s a gold cobra collar. It’s really awesome, made from a sheet of gold and engraved, and the counterweight is fascinating, but it’s not the mask. Or a coffin. Apparently this is one of the many necklaces and amulets found on the mummy itself. And it’s a depiction of the Egyptian goddess Wadjet.
The last room was tall cases, with greyscale photographs of the mummy behind them. They showed off many amulets, rings, and other things found with the mummy, but not the mummy. Or the sarcophagus, or any of the outer boxes. I was really disappointed, because when I think of King Tutankhamun, I think of that mask, and him holding the sickle and flail. None of that was there.
The exhibit ended in a gift shop, with many neat things. I ended up with a pile of postcards that I’ve been using on Swap Bot and Postcrossing. I was bummed that it ended kind of abruptly, but then someone said “The mummy is just past the gift shop.”
So, Pet, myself, my cousin, and her boyfriend trooped that way to see the mummy. And that was, of course, the most crowded part of the exhibit. Half of it was because everyone wanted to see the mummy. The other half were folks who were waiting for someone still in the exhibit, or gift shop, and didn’t want to go outside and risk losing them. So the room was crowded, but we made it to the mummy.
He’s a replica. Turns out the original mummy of King Tutankhamun has never left Egypt. The replica was carefully made to be as accurate as possible. Turns out King Tut is short. I guess folks were back then, because we’re talking 3000 years ago. But it’s interesting to see how small he appears. In the background, where I actually took the picture from, is a video playing about how they tried to find out who King Tut’s parents were. It detailed how they took DNA from the mummy, and how they matched it to other mummies. That, and a couple big wall posters showed that Tutankhamun was the grandson of Amenhotep, and that his parents were most likely brother and sister.
Apparently King Tut was a minor pharaoh, and his biggest claim to fame when he was alive was that he tried to undo what Amenhotep had done with the worshiping of gods. He managed to restore some of the gods to their places before he died. However, when he died, followers of the old gods more or less took over restoring the old gods, his statues, temples, and other possessions were re appropriated to other pharaohs, and his name was removed pretty much everywhere.
Essentially, his mummy lived on in scurrility until it was discovered in the 1920s. However, his tomb being discovered gave him the one thing all pharaohs were looking for: immortality. He’s the most famous pharaoh, not because he was important, but because his tomb is the one that was found largely intact.