The moon landing, Mandela’s walk to freedom, the fall of the Berlin Wall… In an age of news saturation we’ve grown increasingly blasé about history being piped into our living rooms.
How different it was in 1922 when Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon’s discovery of the still-intact tomb of King Tutankhamun sent shock waves around the globe. The news - spread by new-fangled media such as newsreels, telephones and newspapers - of their momentous find gripped the public imagination like nothing before, and its cultural significance was unprecedented.
The discovery of Assyrian reliefs in northern Iraq during the 19th century may have produced a short-lived “Assyromania” in France and Britain, but nothing compared with the fascination for Egypt and Tutankhamun. Read more.
The thing to understand about archaeology is that it’s a science of destruction. The moment an ancient site is discovered, its physical condition immediately begins to deteriorate. Every dig removes a layer of the archaeological record that can never be replaced, and once humans are allowed to visit, with their hot breath and sweat and backpacks, walls start crumbling, pigments start flaking, and before you know it the site has to close down to “rest,” or close for good—a victim of its own celebrity.
Now, a practice is gaining traction that may save us from inadvertently wrecking the very cultural treasures we most want to see: the creation of high-tech copies of ancient archaeological sites. We’re not talking sized-down Las Vegas knockoffs of the Pyramids but forensically analyzed, 3-D copies so minutely detailed that the naked eye can’t distinguish them from the originals. Read more.
A group of workers, archaeologists and architects is busy at work at the entrance to the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Luxor, where the tombs of New Kingdom pharaohs and nobles are spread out within the surrounding mountains. They are constructing a new mud-brick structure containing panels for a full-scale facsimile of the burial chamber of the pharaoh Tutankhamun.
This will be the first replica tomb in the Middle East and one fit for a king. It is due to open to the public at the end of April near the rest house of the tomb’s discoverer, British Egyptologist Howard Carter. Read more.
ATLANTA — Premier Exhibitions, Inc. (“Premier Exhibitions”) (PRXI), a leading presenter of museum quality touring exhibitions, announced today that it will bring The Discovery of King Tut, an exhibition that recreates one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century, to North America for the first time. The partnership with Semmel Concerts GmbH (“Semmel”), gives Premier Exhibitions the exclusive rights to tour the exhibition in North America. Semmel has successfully toured a similar exhibition in Europe since 2008, with approximately five million people experiencing the exhibition in 20 host cities. Read more.
Egypt’s King Tutankhamun was embalmed in an unusual way, including having his penis mummified at a 90-degree angle, in an effort to combat a religious revolution unleashed by his father, a new study suggests.
The pharaoh was buried in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings without a heart (or a replacement artifact known as a heart scarab); his penis was mummified erect; and his mummy and coffins were covered in a thick layer of black liquid that appear to have resulted in the boy-king catching fire.
These anomalies have received both scholarly and media attention in recent years, and a new paper in the journal Études et Travaux by Egyptologist Salima Ikram, a professor at the American University in Cairo, proposes a reason why they, and other Tutankhamun burial anomalies, exist. Read more.
Statuette of ancient Pharaoh’s sister which went missing in looting during riots protesting overthrow on ex-president Morsi found in three pieces
A priceless statuette of the sister of the Pharaoh Tutanhkhamun which went missing during mass looting of a museum in central Egypt in the summer has been found, the antiquities ministry said on Sunday.
The statuette had been broken into three pieces, said Monica Hanna, an archaeologist who has led a campaign to protect Egypt’s historical sites. However, the breaks appeared to be along the lines of previous restoration work and it seemed likely it could be put back together, she said. Read more.
Though the famed Egyptian pharaoh King Tutankhamun died more than 3,300 years ago, the mystery surrounding his death and mummification continues to haunt scientists.
Now, British researchers believe they’ve found evidence explaining how the boy king died and, in the process, made a shocking discovery: After King Tut was sealed in his tomb in 1323 B.C., his mummified body caught fire and burned.
Since Egyptologists Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter uncovered King Tut’s tomb in 1922, their discovery has been shrouded in mystery and fear. A “curse of the mummy’s tomb” entered the popular imagination after several members of the archaeological team died untimely deaths. Read more.
Most have heard of the treasures of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Tutankhamun, first discovered by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon in 1922 when they uncovered his tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Few are familiar with his impeccably preserved brooch, recovered along with the numerous other artifacts within the tomb. Fewer still know about the striking yellow-brown scarab that is set at its center, and that it is made of a yellow silica glass stone procured from the sand of the Sahara and then shaped and polished by ancient craftsmen.
The silica glass was originally formed 28 million years ago, when an ancient comet entered the earth’s atmosphere and exploded over Egypt, heating up the sand beneath it to a temperature of about 2,000 degrees Celsius and resulting in the formation of a huge amount of the yellow silica glass, which lies scattered over a 6,000 square kilometer area in the Sahara. Read more.