Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New artifacts to debut in Dallas at King Tut exhibit opening this fall at the DMA

Pegasus News

Four new artifacts from King Tut’s tomb will be on display when Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs opens at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) on October 3. Marking the first stop on the exhibition's three-city U.S. encore tour after a London engagement, Dallas will be the first city to premiere the new objects, most of which have never before been seen outside of Egypt.

The new objects, all of which belonged to King Tut, include a pectoral necklace featuring solar and lunar emblems and a scarab; a bracelet featuring a scarab clasp; and two nested miniature coffins, one inside of the other, which contained the mummified remains of what is thought to be one of Tutankhamun’s stillborn children.

Perhaps the most intriguing object, the Pectoral with Solar/Lunar Emblems and Scarab features an unusual yellow-green carved scarab in the center, which was tested and found to be glass. The glass itself is a scientific enigma, as its origins were traced to unexplained chunks of glass found scattered in a remote part of the Sahara Desert. Although it remains uncertain how the glass got there or how it was created, some investigators have suggested that its creation may have been due to cosmic events more than 30,000 years ago.

The remarkable inlaid pendant has inventive iconography and decoration on both sides that spells out Tutankhamun's throne name in a protective cryptogram. The central winged scarab with falcon tail and hind legs represents the rising sun. The image of the left eye of Horus supports a crescent and disk with royal and divine figures, symbolizing the moon.

The Bracelet with Scarab Clasp was found among other pieces of jewelry stored within the treasury of King Tut’s tomb. A central image of a beetle representing the sun god is attached to a flexible beaded band of seven panels. Signs of wear indicate use in life.