Tuesday, December 3, 2013

King Tut's Children

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Many non-enthusiasts of ancient Egypt have a tendency to think of King Tut as a child king who died before reaching real adulthood, leaving the throne to his regents, Ay and Horemheb, but that was not the case. Tutankhamun was certainly old enough to have sired more than one child, and in fact, he probably did.

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Among the shrines and chests that were piled up in the part of King Tut's tomb that is now referred to as the Treasury was an undecorated wooden box (no. 317), that measured some 61 centimeters long. the lid was originally tied into position and sealed with the jackal and nine captives, but these had been broken during antiquity. Within the box were two miniature anthropoid coffins, one measuring 49.5 centimeters and the other 57.7 long, placed side by side, head to foot.

This had been painted with the usual black resin, relieved by gilded bands of inscriptions referring to each occupant simply as "the Osiris", with no other names specified. The lids were attached to the coffin bases in the normal manner, using eight flat wooden tenons. Bands of linen were then tied around the coffins beneath the chin and around the waist and ankles, and applied to each of the bands was a clay seal, again with the impression of the jackal and nine captives.

After these linen bands were removed and the lids pulled away, the coffins were each found to contain a second coffin (no. 317a(1), 317b(1)). They were different than the outer coffins in having their entire surface covered in gold foil. Within these second coffins were the mummified remains of two tiny humans.

For the rest of the story: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/tutchildren.htm

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