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May 10 2012

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This alabaster jar had the stopper and lid removed by tomb robbers. The jar was used as a container for oils, fats, and other materials.

It bears the fingerprints of thieves on its interior wall. The vase is of two pieces; one of openwork that fits over the other. When the tomb was later tidied up, empty vessels were employed as containers for smaller objects, which had been scattered by the robbers.

This jar bears also a cryptograph, or secret sign, of the throne name of the King - Neb Kheperu Re.

(via The Global Egyptian Museum | JE 62121)

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This vessel, which is a unique piece of art, was shaped in the form of an ibex, or goat, with real horns, one of which is missing. The eyes are inlaid and have black lids. The ears of the ibex were pierced but the earrings are missing. The back of the animal has a hole.

The body of the vase is decorated with the name of Tutankhamun in a cartouche below the solar disk flanked by two feathers. The vessel stands on a slab of calcite. It once contained oils, which were stolen soon after the tomb was sealed.

(via The Global Egyptian Museum | JE 62122)

Reposted byAncientEgyptian AncientEgyptian
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This is one of the household items once used in the royal palace. It is a flask showing the Nile god, represented as a human figure with a big belly and breasts.

He is wearing a crown adorned with the lotus, the emblem of Upper Egypt, and the papyrus, symbol of Lower Egypt. The Nile god is holding a flask decorated with hieroglyphic text giving the name of King Tutankhamun.

(via The Global Egyptian Museum | JE 62113)

Reposted byAncientEgyptian AncientEgyptian
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Headrests were used in ancient Egypt and are still used in some African regions to protect the head of the sleeper and ease the circulation of air around the head in the hot summer nights.

A soft pillow or cushion would have made it more comfortable for the sleeper. Spell 166 of the Book of the Dead ensured protection for the head of the deceased in the afterlife by warding off demons who might attack.

This headrest is similar in shape to a folding stool.

The pillow holder of the headrest is made of strands of ivory beads stained dark green, red-brown, and black.

The two sides are decorated with the face of the god, Bes of Joy, on their outer surface and a lotus flower on the inner surface. The legs end in ducks’ heads.

(via The Global Egyptian Museum | JE 62023)

May 09 2012

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This statuette is one of a pair featuring King Tutankhamun on the back of a leopard. The king is shown standing with his left leg forward on a rectangular pedestal fixed to the back of the leopard.

He holds a long staff in one hand and the flail in the other. The king is wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt with a cobra on his forehead and a large collar that covers his chest and shoulders and terminates with a row of drop beads.

A tight-fitting loincloth tied at the front and incised with fine lines covers his lower body. He is wearing sandals.

The exaggeration of the king’s features shows the influence of the Amarna style of art.

(via The Global Egyptian Museum | JE 60715)

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A gilded, wooden statuette of King Tutankhamun stands on a wooden boat that is painted to represent a papyrus boat.

Its details are picked out in gold leaf. The king, wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt, holds a harpoon poised to strike an unseen enemy.

According to the myth of Osiris and Isis, the king here represents their son, Horus, who avenged his father, Osiris.

His adversary, Seth, often portrayed as a hippopotamus or crocodile, is not depicted, as he is a potentially harmful image.

The figure of the king holds a bronze coiled chain to bind the animal, representing Seth, after spearing it.

The statue was found wrapped in linen in a varnish-blackened chest

(via The Global Egyptian Museum | JE 60710)

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A statuette of Tutankhamun that represents the king mummified in the traditional position of the god Osiris with his hands crossed over his chest. He is lying on a funerary bed decorated with two lion’s heads and is wearing the nemes headdress with a gilded uraeus on the forehead.

A falcon and a bird with a human head protect the sides and the torso of the king with their open wings. The falcon is the god Horus and the bird is the Ba, the animated manifestation of the deceased.

The statuette was found carefully wrapped in a linen cloth with several miniature agricultural tools similar to those provided for the shawabties.

The inscriptions on the statuette are a dedication by Maya, Tutankhamun’s scribe, who also gave the king a shawabti

(via The Global Egyptian Museum | JE 60720)

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This statue represents King Tutankhamun standing with his left leg forward. He is wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt adorned with the royal cobra (uraeus) at the front, the Usekh collar, a short pleated kilt, and a pair of sandals.

In his left hand, he is holding a long Heqa scepter with the top missing and in the right hand, the Nekhekh flail. This depiction of King Tutankhamun with the long neck, the swollen belly, and the low hips was clearly influenced by the art of the Amarna Period.

The statue was found, with six other statues of Tutankhamun, wrapped in bolts of linen with an inscription giving the date when they were carved, which was year three of the reign of King Akhenaten

(via The Global Egyptian Museum | JE 60713)

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The tomb of Tutankhamun contained many leopard heads like this gilded one. This head differs from others in having the king’s cartouche incised between the eyes. The leopard head adorned a garment that imitated the animal’s skin. This was the distinctive garment of the Sem priest.

The Sem priest was charged with revitalizing the mummified body of the pharaoh in the ritual known as the “Opening of the mouth.” If the deceased were his predecessor, the new pharaoh would supervise the ceremony dressed as a Sem priest.

(via The Global Egyptian Museum | JE 62629)

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A statue of the goddess Menkaret shows her carrying the seated statue of King Tutankhamun over her head. She is supporting the king’s back with her right hand and his feet with her left hand.

This is the position in which female Egyptian peasants carried water jars over their heads.

The king is wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt and the usekh collar; he is wrapped in a shroud like a mummy.

The goddess is standing with her left leg forward. She is wearing a long wig and a pleated kilt. Her swollen belly and low hips show the artistic influence of the Amarna Period.

This statue was used, with two others, in the mystical pilgrimages during the funeral of the king

(via The Global Egyptian Museum | JE 60716)

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Pendant from Tutankhamon’s tomb

Ed. Note: Some theorize this pendant represents Tutankhamon's Grandfather, Amenhotep III AKA Amenhotep The Great

 (Via Global Egyptian Museum)

Reposted byAncientEgyptiansiriusminerva

Howard Carter's Pocket Diary and Journal 1922

Wednesday, November 1.

Commenced Excavations. B. el. M.

Commenced operations in the Valley of the Kings. I began by continuing the former excavation where it had stopped at the N.E. corner of the entrance to the tomb of Ramses VI, trenching southwards. At this point there were ancient stone huts of the Necropolis workmen, built rather less than a metre above the bed-rock, which had partly been exposed in our former work x (see plan L.M. 15 and 16). As we uncovered them they were found to continue under and in front of the entrance of Ramses VI tomb in a southerly direction and connected up with other similar huts on the opposite side of the valley bed discovered by Davis during previous work. These ancient huts were soon cleared of the rubbish covering them. I planned them, and removed them for investigation below, which undertaking took until the fourth of Nov.

Note x These huts were built upon the natural detritus, and were covered by an average of three metres of debris accumulated since their construction.


Howard Carter's Pocket Diary and Journal 1922

Saturday, November 4.

First steps of tomb found.

At about 10am I discovered beneath almost the first hut attacked the first traces of the entrance of the tomb (Tut.ankh.Amen) This comprised the first step of the N.E. corner (of the sunken-staircase). Quite a short time sufficed to show that it was the beginning of a steep excavation cut in the bed rock, about four metres below the entrance of Ramses VI’s tomb, and a similar depth below the present level of the valley. And, that it was of the nature of a sunken staircase entrance to a tomb of the type of the XVIIIth Dyn., but further than that nothing could be told until the heavy rubbish above was cleared away.

This is how the same discovery was noted in Howard Carter’s excavation journal. Numbers 433-5 refer to the register of finds from Carnarvon-Carter excavations in the Valley of the Kings, L.16 and M.16 are references to Carter’s map. The journal was discontinued after these entries.

Nov. 1, 1922. Season 1922-23 begins: excavation before tomb of Ramses VI (vide L.M.16)

433. L.16 Entrance of tomb of
In bed rock floor of water-course (below entrance of Ramses VI). Discovered 4th Nov. 1922.
434. L.16 Limestone flake bearing polytheistic sketch in bl. & red of Horus & animals. (2 frags.)
435. L.16. Enclosure in stone upper stratum - (?) mortar trough for Ramses VI (?) tomb.


Howard Carter's Pocket Diary and Journal 1922

Sunday, November 5.

Discovered tomb under tomb of Ramses VI
Investigated same & found seals intact.

It took the whole of the preceding day and most of this day to free this excavation before the upper margins of the staircase could be demarcated on its four sides. As first conjectured it proved to be an opening (about 4 ms x 1.60 ms) excavated in the bed-rock, with its W. end abutting against the rock slope of the small hillock in which Ramses VI had excavated his tomb. As the work proceeded we found that the western end of the cutting receded under the slope of the rock, and thus was partly roofed over by the overhanging rock.

Towards sunset we had cleared down to the level of the 12th step, which was sufficient to expose a large part of the upper portion of a plastered and sealed doorway. Here before us was sufficient evidence to show that it really was an entrance to a tomb, and by the seals, to all outward appearances that it was intact.

I examined this exposed portion of the sealed doorway and noticed that the only decipherable impressions of the seals were those of the well-known Royal Necropolis seal, i.e., Anubis (symbolizing a king) over nine foes.

With the evidence of these seals, and the fact that the workmen’s huts, which in all probabilities dated from the time of the construction of Rameses VI’s tomb, were built over the mouth of the entrance of this newly discovered tomb without apparently disturbing it, it was clear that its content would be undisturbed at least since the XXth Dyn.

The seal-impressions suggested that it belonged to somebody of high standing but at that time I had not found any indications as to whom.

I noticed at the top of the doorway, where some of the cement-like plaster had fallen away, a heavy wooden lintel. To assure myself of the method in which the doorway was blocked, I made a small hole under this wooden lintel - the R. hand corner, about 35 x 15 cms in size. By this hole I was able to perceive with the aid of an electrical torch that a passage beyond was completely filled with stones and rubble up to its ceiling, which was again evidence of something that had required careful closing. It was a thrilling moment for an excavator, quite alone save his native staff of workmen, to suddenly find himself, after so many years of toilsome work, on the verge of what looked like a magnificent discovery - an untouched tomb. With certain reluctance I reclosed the small hole that I had made, and returned to another careful search among the seals to see if I could not find some indication that would point to the identity of the owner, but it was of no avail for the small space bared by my excavation did not expose any impression sufficiently clear to be made out, other than that of the Royal Necropolis seal already mentioned.

Though I was satisfied that I was on the verge of perhaps a magnificent find, probably one of the missing tombs that I had been seeking for many years, I was much puzzled by the smallness of the opening in comparison with those of other royal tombs in the valley. Its design was certainly of the XVIIIth Dyn. Could it be the tomb of a noble, buried there by royal consent? Or was it a royal cache? As far as my investigations had gone there was absolutely nothing to tell me. Had I known that by digging a few inches deeper I would have exposed seal impressions showing Tut.ankh.Amen’s insignia distinctly I would have fervently worked on and set my mind at rest, but as it was, it was getting late, the night had fast set in, the full moon had risen high in the eastern heavens, I refilled the excavation for protection, and with my men selected for the occasion - they like myself delighted beyond all expectation - I returned home and cabled to Ld. C. (then in England) the following message:-

“At last have made wonderful discovery in Valley a magnificent tomb with seals intact recovered same for your arrival congratulations “


Howard Carter's Pocket Diary and Journal 1922

Friday, November 24.

Lady E. arrived.
and brought bird.
Arrived at entrance doorway
Engelbach came with some friends
Brunton, daughter of Lady A.’s sister, Mr Burton & ?someone else.
Slept night at tomb.
Took photos. & notes.

Lady E. arrived.
Callender reached as far as the first doorway. There proved to be sixteen steps.

Now that the whole of the sealed doorway was laid bare various seal impressions bearing the cartouche of Tut-ankh-Amen were discernible, more in particular in the lower portion of the plastering of the doorway where the impressions were clearest.

In the upper part of this sealed doorway traces of two distinct reopenings and successive reclosings were apparent, and that the seal-impressions first noticed, Nov. 5, of the Royal Necropolis - i.e., `Anubis over Nine Foes’, had been used for the reclosing . Here was evidence of at least the reign of the tomb, but its true significance was still a puzzle, for in the lower rubbish that filled the stair-case entrance we found masses of broken potsherds, broken boxes, the latter bearing the names and protocol of Akhenaten, Smenkh-Ka-Ra, and Tut.ankh.Amen, and with what was even more upsetting a scarab of Tehutimes III, as well as a fragment bearing the cartouche of Amenhetep III. These conflicting data led us for a time to believe that we were about to open a royal cache of the El Amarna branch of the XVIIIth Dyn. Monarchs, and that {the} from the evidence mentioned above it had been probably opened and used more than once.

Engelbach, the Chief Inspector Antiquities Dept., came and witnessed the freeing of rubbish from the first doorway. With him came several of his friends, among others Brunton.

Slept the night in the valley. Carpenters commenced upon making a temporary wooden grill for fixing over first doorway.


Howard Carter's Pocket Diary and Journal 1922

Saturday, November 25.

Opened first door.

Noted seals. Made photographic records, which were not, as they afterwards proved, very successful. Opened the first doorway; which comprised rough stones built up from the threshold to the lintel, plastered over on the outside face, and covered with numerous impressions from various seals of Tut.ankh.Amen and the Royal Necropolis seal. The removal of this blocking exposed the commencement of a completely blocked descending passage, the same width as the entrance staircase and rather more than 2 metres high. It was filled with its local stone and rubble, probably from its own excavation, but like the doorway it showed distinct traces of more than one filling; the mass of the filling being of clean white stone chips mingled with dust, while in the upper left hand corner a large irregular hole had been pierced through it which had been refilled with dark flint and chert stones. This coincided with reopenings and successive reclosings found on the sealed doorway.

As we cleared the passage we found mixed with the rubble broken potsherds, jar seals, and numerous fragments of small objects; water skins lying on the floor together with alabaster jars, whole and broken, and coloured pottery vases; all pertaining to some disturbed burial, but telling us nothing to whom they belonged further than by their type which was of the late XVIIIth Dyn. These were disturbing elements as they pointed towards plundering.


Howard Carter's Pocket Diary and Journal 1922

Sunday, November 26.

Open second doorway
about 2pm.
Advised Engelbach.

After clearing 9 metres of the descending passage, in about the middle of the afternoon, we came upon a second sealed doorway, which was almost the exact replica of the first. It bore similar seal impressions and had similar traces of successive reopenings and reclosings in the plastering. The seal impressions were of Tut.ankh.Amen and of the Royal Necropolis, but not in any way so clear as those on the first doorway. The entrance and passage both in plan and in style resembled almost to measurement the tomb containing the cache of Akhenaten discovered by Davis in the very near vicinity; which seemed to substantiate our first conjecture that we had found a cache.

Feverishly we cleared away the remaining last scraps of rubbish on the floor of the passage before the doorway, until we had only the clean sealed doorway before us. In which, after making preliminary notes, we made a tiny breach in the top left hand corner to see what was beyond. Darkness and the iron testing rod told us that there was empty space. Perhaps another descending staircase, in accordance to the ordinary royal Theban tomb plan? Or may be a chamber? Candles were procured - the all important tell-tale for foul gases when opening an ancient subterranean excavation - I widened the breach and by means of the candle looked in, while Ld. C., Lady E, and Callender with the Reises waited in anxious expectation.

It was sometime before one could see, the hot air escaping caused the candle to flicker, but as soon as one’s eyes became accustomed to the glimmer of light the interior of the chamber gradually loomed before one, with its strange and wonderful medley of extraordinary and beautiful objects heaped upon one another.

There was naturally short suspense for those present who could not see, when Lord Carnarvon said to me `Can you see anything’. I replied to him Yes, it is wonderful. I then with precaution made the hole sufficiently large for both of us to see. With the light of an electric torch as well as an additional candle we looked in. Our sensations and astonishment are difficult to describe as the better light revealed to us the marvellous collection of treasures: two strange ebony-black effigies of a King, gold sandalled, bearing staff and mace, loomed out from the cloak of darkness; gilded couches in strange forms, lion-headed, Hathor-headed, and beast infernal; exquisitely painted, inlaid, and ornamental caskets; flowers; alabaster vases, some beautifully executed of lotus and papyrus device; strange black shrines with a gilded monster snake appearing from within; quite ordinary looking white chests; finely carved chairs; a golden inlaid throne; a heap of large curious white oviform boxes; beneath our very eyes, on the threshold, a lovely lotiform wishing-cup in translucent alabaster; stools of all shapes and design, of both common and rare materials; and, lastly a confusion of overturned parts of chariots glinting with gold, peering from amongst which was a mannikin. The first impression of which suggested the property-room of an opera of a vanished civilization. Our sensations were bewildering and full of strange emotion. We questioned one another as to the meaning of it all. Was it a tomb or merely a cache? A sealed doorway between the two sentinel statues proved there was more beyond, and with the numerous cartouches bearing the name of Tut.ankh.Amen on most of the objects before us, there was little doubt that there behind was the grave of that Pharaoh.

We closed the hole, locked the wooden-grill which had been placed upon the first doorway, we mounted our donkeys and return home contemplating what we had seen.

Advised the Chief Inspector of the Antiquities Department, who was with us at the commencement of the opening of the first doorway, and asked him to come as soon as possible, preferably the following afternoon to enable us to prepare an electrical installation for careful inspection of this extraordinary and pleasing discovery.


Howard Carter's Pocket Diary and Journal 1922

Monday, November 27.

Inspected tomb with electric light.
Ibrahim Effendi came

Callender prepared the electrical installation for lighting the tomb. This was ready by noon, when Lord C., Lady E., Callender and self entered and made a careful inspection of this first chamber (afterwards called the Ante-chamber).

In the course of the afternoon the local Inspector Ibrahim Effendi, of the Department of Antiquities at Luxor, came in the place of the Chief Inspector - he being absent on a visit to Kena.

It soon became obvious that we were but on the threshold of the discovery. The sight that met us was beyond anything one could conceive. The heterogeneous mass of material crowded into the chamber without particular order, so crowded that you were obliged to move with anxious caution, for time had wrought certain havoc with many of the objects, was very bewildering. Everywhere we found traces of disorder caused by some early intruder, objects over-turned, broken fragments lying upon the floor, all added to the confusion, and the unfamiliar plan of tomb repeatedly caused us to ask ourselves in our perplexity whether it was really a tomb or a Royal Cache? As the better light fell upon the objects we endeavoured to take them in. It was impossible. They were so many. Beneath one of the couches, the Thoueris couch in the S.W. corner, we perceived an aperture in the rock-wall which proved to be nothing less than another sealed-doorway broken open as by some predatory hand. With care Ld. C. and I crept under this strange gilded couch, and we peered into the opening. There we saw that it led into yet another chamber (afterwards called the Annexe) of smaller dimensions than the Ante-chamber and of a lower level. Even greater confusion prevailed here, the very stones that blocked the entrance, forced in when the breach was made, were lying helter-skelter upon the objects on the floor crushed by their weight. It was full of one mass of furniture. An utter confusion of beds, chairs, boxes, alabaster and faience vases, statuettes, cases of peculiar form, and every sort of thing overturned and searched for valuables. The remaining portions of the plaster covering the blocking of this doorway bore similar seal-impressions as on the other doorways.

In neither of these two chambers could we see any traces of a mummy or mummies - the one pious reason for making a cache. With such evidence, as well as the sealed doorway between the two guardian statues of the King, the mystery gradually dawned upon us. We were but in the anterior portion of a tomb. Behind that closed doorway was the tomb-chamber, and that Tut.ankh.Amen probably lay there in all his magnificent panoply of death - we had found that monarch’s burial place intact save certain metal-robbing, and not his cache.

We then examined the plaster and seal-impressions upon the closed doorway. They were of many types of seals, all bearing the insignia of the King. We also discovered that in the bottom part of the blocking a small breach had once been made, large enough to allow of a small man to pass through, but it had been carefully reclosed, plastered and sealed. Evidently the tomb beyond had been entered - by thieves! Who knows? But sufficient evidence to tell that someone had made ingress.

The results of our investigations were, (1) it was clear the place was Pharaoh’s tomb and not a mere cache; (2) that we had only entered the anterior chambers of the tomb, filled with magnificent equipment equal only to the wealth and splendour of the New Empire; (3) that we had found a royal burial little disturbed save hurried plundering at the hands of ancient tomb robbers.

It was a sight surpassing all precedent, and one we never dreamed of seeing. We were astonished by the beauty and refinement of the art displayed by the objects surpassing all we could have imagined - the impression was overwhelming.


Howard Carter's Pocket Diary and Journal 1922

Tuesday, November 28.

(?) Engelbach came.

Most of this day was spent in preparing for an official opening of the tomb to take place on the morrow - the 29th. Engelbach, the Chief Inspector, returned from Kena by the midday train, came over to the Valley on his motor-cycle in the afternoon and inspected the discovery.

I’d’ve loved seeing Engelbach riding that ‘motor-cycle’ to Tut’s tomb in1922. :)

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