Tutankhamun: His Tomb and its Treasures
This famous tomb is amongst the smallest in the Valley of the Kings. Nevertheless it contained treasures which may have represented the most abundant hoar ever buried in the Valley. For, contrary to initial belief that the treasure belonged to a boy-king who had a short and not very significant reign, it is now known that some of the objects date back not only to the Amarna period, but even to the reign of Thutmose III. The five thousand odd objects catalogued from the tomb, therefore, represent a uniquely accumulated collection and, perhaps, the richest place in any tomb.
The first chamber, which measures a mere 8X4 meters, is undercoated. Bare, too, are the walls of the small annex. The only chamber with decorated walls is the burial chamber itself.
The burial chamber was originally sealed off by a plastered wall, before which stool two life-sized statues of Tutankhamun in dark varnished wood, with gold ornaments, headdress and kilt. When the wall was broken through, the outermost shrine of wood, covered with gold-leaf, was revealed. Within it were three similar, smaller shrines, one inside the other. The sarcophagus of crystalline sandstone lay at the center.
Inside the sarcophagus were two wooden coffins in portrait images of the king, overlaid with thin sheet gold, and a third, inner coffin, in which the mummy lay, which was of pure gold inlaid with semi-precious stones and colored glazes.
The walls of the burial chamber retain the vividity of color as on the day they were painted. On the right hand wall the mummy of the deceased is showed being brought to the tomb by noblemen, one rear wall, Tutankhamum is depicted with the figures of goddesses of heaven and with Osiris. There is also a unique representation of the opening of the mouth ceremony being performed on the deceased king by Aye, who briefly succeeded him to the throne. This ritual was a most ancient one. Performed to give the deceased life and power to eat and breath. On the left hand wall are scenes showing the adoration of apes representing the twelve hours of the night.
The sarcophagus remains in the burial chamber with the outer of the wooden coffins containing the decayed mummy of the king.