Tut, Tut, Tut

The only American stop of a touring exhibition of more than 150 exceptional artifacts discovered in the tomb of 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Tutankhamun is now open to the public at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Much like it blockbuster predecessor exhibitions, King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh is shaping up to be a monster best-seller, so even though it will run through January 6th, 2019, if you are in Los Angeles or can plan to be there, book your tickets early and often.

The objects on display are funerary treasures that were interred with the young king. Through the artifacts, visitors will learn about King Tut’s life, his death and the afterlife they were intended to accompany him into. This is the largest group of Tutankhamun’s burial treasures ever to travel. Fully 40% of them have never been outside of Egypt.

The show also coincides with the centennial of the tomb’s discovery, so there are historical photos on display from Howard Carter’s find of a lifetime.

“Each artifact presented in King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh is important to the story of King Tut – helping us to learn how they were used in his daily life and in preparations for his journey to the afterlife. Especially notable is what the discovery of his tomb meant to the world of archaeology and the insights gained from the state-of-the-art technology and scientific analyses of King Tut’s mummy and artifacts,” said California Science Center President Jeff Rudolph. “It is our honor to be the first institution to host the exhibition that will hopefully inspire people around the world to see the exhibition and visit the upcoming Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza to see more of these wonders of ancient Egypt.”

That last plug for a museum that won’t even be open until 2020 tells you why Egypt is willing to part with so many priceless objects it hasn’t been willing to part with, even for a temporary stretch, over the last century. The tour is one big, beautiful, shiny, rapturous lure for tourists in the US and Europe to make their way to Cairo once the new museum next to the pyramids is complete and open to the public.

And now, the reason for this post. Bring on the glorious artifact porn!

Be sure to click on the thumbnails to see the full-sized versions because they are in fantastically high resolution and look amazing.

This is one is more from the annals of “how the sausage is made,” in this case how the artifacts were unpacked an installed after their arrival in Los Angeles. It’s just such a beautiful, haunting image. It could be a stand-alone art piece.

11 thoughts on “Tut, Tut, Tut

  1. But whose name is written in the center of the belt of the quartzite statue? It doesn’t look like Tutankhamun’s.

  2. Any idea why/how the statue got so damaged? Would be really interesting to see whole(reassembled) for concept of physique.
    Seems as funerary~ the pieces would have been present. Not trashed and discarded prior, as this was with the burial you say…
    LoL~ yup- good hook! I’m interested!

  3. I was able to see the tour of the major artifacts in Ottawa, Canada, back in the early 1970s and still remember some of those pieces vividly. Amazing examples of art and of the vibrant life of the ruling classes in ancient Egypt. “Beautiful” is an inadequate word to describe many of the artifacts from one of the cradles of modern civilization.

  4. Twenty years ago I overheard a conversation in a dentist’s waiting room. A bloke – a plumber by trade – had just returned from a holiday in Egypt. He had been bowled over by the ancient artefacts but that wasn’t his main point. How, he demanded, could Egypt have descended from its glory to its present condition of … well, nowadays one says “shithole” apparently. Could it happen to us?

    This insight had made him something of a philosopher, keen to discuss his worry with strangers.

  5. From the left I can read formula “Beloved of Amun Re lord of the two lands” then there is an alteration and poor inscribe hieroglyphs. Later pharaohs commonly usurped the statues of their predecessors

  6. One day in the mid 60’s, my father brought home a full color coffee table book about Tutankhamun and the discovery of his tomb. That was the day I fell in love with archaeology!

  7. Thank you for the translation. And I thought the inscription on the right side looked different too. Like the original had been gouged out and the replacement glyphs were shallower. I wonder if this statue was found in Tutankhamun’s tomb.

  8. ‘Me too’ could witness Tut’s 70ies ‘artifact world tour’ as a child, i.e. including the golden mask and all. Seems as if they did not send that “gilded wooden shrine” around.

    To me, it looks as if there had been a statue inside, i.e. on the block where those ’empty footprints’ are visible. Also, there are what appears to be wooden ‘skewers’ put through the doors into the frame that I don’t have an explanation for.


  9. This is one of surviving statues now recognized as King Tut. It is the remains of a 10-foot painted quartzite statue, the largest known image of King Tutankhamun. It was found in the funerary temple of his high officials Ay and Horemheb each of whom ruled as Pharaoh after Tutankhamun. This statue was found in the Funerary Temple of Ay and Horemheb at Thebes.

  10. This is obviously a statue of Mickael Jackson the first, in his last years. He ruled the World of Pop Music in the late eighties of the XXth century.

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