Friday, June 22, 2007

Exhibition: More on Tutankhamun's cloth wrappings

Al Ahram Weekly

PRECIOUS amulets that once decorated the mummy of the boy king Tutankhamun are on special display at the Egyptian museum, Nevine El-Aref toured the new exhibit. The three-month exhibition hall on the ground floor of Cairo's Egyptian Museum is currently hosting the collection of splendid amulets once concealed within the cloth wrappings of the mummy of Tutankhamun.

The 12 layers of cloth wrapped around Tutankhamun's mummy originally enveloped 143 objects. On the neck alone were 20 amulets arranged in six groups, each separated from the next by several layers of wrappings. According to ancient Egyptian belief, such amulets were protective charms that through the power of magic helped ensure the dead's safe passage into the afterlife. By multiplying the layers of bandages, more and more amulets could be placed directly over any physical member. After the discovery of the tomb of the young Pharaoh by Howard Carter in 1922, the amulets and jewellery that decorated the mummy were removed
from the body and permanently exhibited at the museum.

Among Tutankhamun's mummy amulets are the chased gold falcon collar with small counterpoise, and the fine dagger and sheath which lay on top of the abdomen. There is also a beautiful cobra amulet. Among the objects on show at the exhibition are chains, necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets, anklets, sheaths for fingers and toes,
pectorals and a large piece of jewellery worn on the chest.

See the above page for the full story, with photographs.

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