Academic journal article International Journal on Humanistic Ideology

The Death of Tutankhamun

Academic journal article International Journal on Humanistic Ideology

The Death of Tutankhamun

Article excerpt

We studied the Mummy with CT-Scan and found no evidence of a blow to the head and in fact, the hole on the back of his head was opened during the Mummification process to put the liquid inside the head.

When I received the CT-Scan machine from Siemens and the National Geographic as a gift; we thought that we should start to study the royal Mummies for the first time with the CT-Scan.

Howard Carter began on November 10, 1925 to remove the Lid of the third coffin. This was the coffin that topped the Mummy and is made of solid gold.

Carter was faced with many problems. He found that the second and the third coffins were stuck together and the golden mask was also stuck on the head of the Mummy. It seems that the Egyptians, during the burial, poured unguents over the king's body.1

Carter's first attempted solution was to remove the coffins from the tomb and place them outside, where the sun might warm the unguents enough to soften them. When this failed to work even after the temperature reached 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius), artificial heat was applied protecting the surface with Zinc plates and wet towels. Carter's team used paraffin wax lamps to heat the contents to more than 900 degrees Fahrenheit (500 degrees Celsius). Eventually this allowed them to separate the coffins.2

Carter moved the mummy outside the tomb and put it under the sun hopping that the mask can be taken out of the mummy. But it was useless, and then with the assistance of Douglas Derry, who was teacher of Anthropology at the faculty of medicine - Cairo University and Salah Bey Hamdi, professor at the faculty of medicine at Alexandria University, the mummy was moved to the tomb of Seti II (KV 15), which was used as a lab.

The team used hot knives and began to remove the golden mask that was stuck on the head and the chest of the mummy and they also collected about 150 amulets that were inside and outside the mummy. This operation caused lots of damage to the mummy.

The golden mask that was removed from the top of the mummy is a masterpiece of art. It was placed for the Ba (soul) of the king to recognize the body in the afterlife and also to protect the king in the Netherworld. There were also eight golden mummy bands, imitating in precious metal bands the linen that, on a non-royal mummy, would have held the final layer of bandages in place. Hieroglyphs of colored glass inlay give the names of the king and protective spells spoken by a variety of gods, including the four sons of Horus (guardians of the organs removed during mummification), and Anubis (god of embalming), and Nut (the Sky goddess). The text on the bands, Carter noticed, were not always in the order they should have been. He also discovered that the Cartouches on the bands had been in cut out and replaced with plain gold; and that the artisans had missed one of the Cartouches. This did not give one of Tutankhamun's names but instead the name "Ankh kheperure" his successor. These bands seemed to have been appropriated from Ankh kheperure's burial equipment for Tutakhamun's use.3

Also, sewn onto the mummy wrappers was a pair of hands of burnished gold. Wearing wristlets made of colored glass and camelian. These hands grasp the crook and flail, which are made from silver cores covered with bands of glass and gold. Glass, gold, and camelian make up the heads of the flail.

The last element of the outer trappings was a bird with an exquisitely rendered human face, representing the Ba or "Soul" which could go forth from the tomb. The Egyptians believed that to achieve everlasting life, the Ba had to be reunited with the body and with the Ka, or life-force. The gold pectoral has glass inlay to imitate Camelian turquoise and Lapis Lazuli. The bird's claws grasp shen-signs, symbolic of eternity.

Among the other objects found on the mummy of Tutankhamun were several collars. This type of collar is known to the ancient Egyptian as Wesekh (broad) collar. …

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