Travelling the world, the Tutankhamun exhibition has been extremely popular.
Spoiler alert: Tutankhamun’s famous Death Mask isn’t in the exhibition. However, it is about so much more than that – seeing, learning and coming so close to such incredibly intricate ancient artefacts is awe-inspiring.
Unfortunately, the exhibition is expensive and, of course, closed during Lockdown. It has also been proposed that this will be the last time the treasures leave Egypt – although, only the future will tell. For a similar reason that the Death Mask should not leave Egypt, the items in the exhibit are deemed too fragile to keep being put on show (perfectly plausible given they are around 3,300 years old).
So it’s likely that to see Tutankhamun’s riches, a trip to Cairo is in order. Instead, welcome to the Sphinx’s insight into Tutankhamun’s treasures…
Gold Coffinette & Crook and Flail
The gold coffinette shown in the first photo bears a striking resemblance to the Death Mask. Adorned with gold, carnelian and coloured glass, this coffinette served as what is know as a canopic jar. The four canopic jars each contained one of four organs, these are embalmed to travel to the afterlife with the king.
Each organ and canopic jar was associated with one of the Sons of Horus. The canopic jar shown housed the liver and was dedicated to the gods Imseti and Isis. Imseti was one of the Four Sons of Horus, associated with emotions rather than animals hence the human figure. Isis served as the protector of Imseti, whose role was so deliver the dead to the underworld. The other three Sons of Horus are: Duamutef, a Jackal housing the Stomach; Hapi, a Baboon housing the Lungs; Qebehsenuef, a Falcon housing the Intestines.
The canopic coffinette was one of four, stored inside separate sections of a calcite chest, each with a calcite visage of Tutankhamun (see second photo) which acted as the lid to conceal the canopic containers.