King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922, visitors may view 166 authentic artifacts from the famous boy king’s tomb at the King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh exhibition, currently on display at the California Science Center through January 6, 2019. Guests get a glimpse into the pharaoh’s life over 3,300 years prior through examples of his extravagant and ornately decorated clothing, jewelry and furniture. The exhibit also showcases the elaborate preparation for the young pharaoh’s afterlife, including food, statues, weapons, and other artifacts that had been sealed in his tomb. Detailed descriptions of his daily prayers and mummification process further enhance the experience. Los Angeles is the exhibition’s final stop in the United States before its debut in ten European cities, after which it will be permanently housed in the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza.

Unlike previous showings of this collection, over two-thirds of the featured artifacts have never left Egypt. Additionally, with the exception of the ten foot temple statue, all pieces were found inside the king’s tomb. The exhibit begins on the third floor of the museum, where visitors may see both personal possessions of King Tutankhamen and objects laid in his tomb as part of his burial ritual. Said pieces ensured that the King would have a smooth journey to the afterlife.

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A gilded, intricately carved ebony bed, likely constructed for the pharaoh’s burial

 

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Worn wooden containers for food offerings

 

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A cartouche bearing Tut’s full name in hieroglyphs

 

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Young Tut’s chair and footstool

The exhibit also describes the spells Tutankhamen recited daily to secure his place in the afterlife, and stresses the significance of magic in ancient Egyptian life. The Egyptians believed that the netherworld Tut would face after death contained twelve gates, hence the twelve overhead archways represented in the exhibit. Prominently featured within the exhibit were excerpts from the Book of the Dead, which encompasses nearly 200 spells believed to guide the deceased to the afterlife.

On the first floor, guests learn more about the individuals responsible for the uncovering of Tut’s tomb and can discover how cutting-edge scientific analysis of his mummy has revealed surprising details about his health. The exhibit also outlines the modern procedures involved in preserving and transporting the tomb’s artifacts. A timeline portrays the influence Tut had on popular culture, hence the name “Tutmania,” after the tomb’s discovery by archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter and his water boy, Hussein Abdel-Rassoul.

Not featured in this exhibition are King Tut’s mummy and his funerary mask, which are both housed in Egypt. Other artifacts deemed too fragile for shipment also remain in Egypt.

The California Science Center exhibition offers a fascinating, in-depth look at the life and times of King Tut not only from the items found within his tomb, but through DNA analysis, CT scans, and new archaeological techniques unavailable during previous Tut exhibits, and is well worth your visit.

Sources:

“KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh.” California Science Center, 20 Sept. 2018, californiasciencecenter.org/exhibits/king-tut-treasures-of-the-golden-pharaoh. Accessed 27 September 2018.

“KING TUT: Frequently Asked Questions.” California Science Center, 24 Apr. 2018, californiasciencecenter.org/exhibits/king-tut-treasures-of-the-golden-pharaoh/frequently-asked-questions. Accessed 27 September 2018.

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