Gold Mask of Tutankhamun

Gold Mask of Tutankhamun

This gold death mask of Tutankhamun is an example of the highest artistic and technical achievements of the ancient Egyptians in the New Kingdom.

Covering the head of the wrapped mummy in its coffin and activated by a magical spell, no.151b from the Book of the Dead, the mask ensured more protection for the king’s body. The exact portrayal of the king’s facial features achieved here made it possible for his soul to recognize him and return to his mummified body, thus ensuring his resurrection.

The head is covered by the royal headdress and the forehead bears the emblems of kingship and protection: the vulture and uraeus, or cobra. The gold sheets used in this wonderful mask are joined together by heating and hammering. The eyes are of obsidian and quartz and the eyebrows and eyelids are inlaid with lapis lazuli. The broad inlaid collar of semiprecious stones and colored glass ends in falcon heads.

From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 60672

Head of the Falcon God Horus

Head of the Falcon God Horus

This exquisite head of the falcon god Horus, lord of the sun and patron deity of kingship, was found below the floor of the main chamber of his temple at Hierakonpolis, north of Edfu.

The head, which is made out of beaten gold, was fixed to a copper statue of the falcon Horus. It is topped by a twin-plumed headdress and decorated with a royal uraeus, or rearing cobra.

The eyes are inlaid with rounded, polished, obsidian pieces, very similar to that of the real bird. It was certainly a cult statue, which was set up on a base in its shrine, with a royal statuette placed under its protection.

Old Kingdom, 6th Dynasty, ca. 2345-2181 BC. From Kom al-Ahmar Necropolis. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 32158

The Innermost Coffin of Tutankhamun

The Innermost Coffin of Tutankhamun

This coffin of solid gold is covered with incised decorations and inscriptions inside and outside, with the names and epitaph of the deceased king and protective texts. It is inlaid with semiprecious stones and colored glass.

The coffin’s shape is that of Osiris holding the sacred insignia, the heka scepter and the flail. The vulture and the uraeus, or rearing cobra, protect his forehead. The divine beard is made of gold inlaid with blue glass. Deities of Upper and Lower Egypt protect the body of the coffin with their wings. The coffin weighs 110.4 kilograms or 243.4 pounds.

From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 60671

The Back of the Gold Mask of Tutankhamun

The Back of the Gold Mask of Tutankhamun

Decorated with extracts from chapter 151B of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. This chapter describes how each member of the face of the dead is identified with a god in order to assure a whole divine protection to the deceased.

Covering the head of the wrapped mummy in its coffin and activated by a magical spell, no.151b from the Book of the Dead, the mask ensured more protection for the king’s body. The exact portrayal of the king’s facial features achieved here made it possible for his soul to recognize him and return to his mummified body, thus ensuring his resurrection.

The head is covered by the royal headdress and the forehead bears the emblems of kingship and protection: the vulture and uraeus, or cobra.

The gold sheets used in this wonderful mask are joined together by heating and hammering. The eyes are of obsidian and quartz and the eyebrows and eyelids are inlaid with lapis lazuli. The broad inlaid collar of semiprecious stones and colored glass ends in falcon heads. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 60672

The Innermost Coffin of Tutankhamun

The Innermost Coffin of Tutankhamun

This coffin of solid gold is covered with incised decorations and inscriptions inside and outside, with the names and epitaph of the deceased king and protective texts. It is inlaid with semiprecious stones and colored glass.

The coffin’s shape is that of Osiris holding the sacred insignia, the heka scepter and the flail. The vulture and the uraeus, or rearing cobra, protect his forehead. The divine beard is made of gold inlaid with blue glass. Deities of Upper and Lower Egypt protect the body of the coffin with their wings. The coffin weighs 110.4 kilograms or 243.4 pounds.

From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 60671

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