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Travelog post for: Philbert

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Köln (Cologne), Germany - 26th October 2010

By: Apperveilchen

Our real reason to visit Cologne was the exhibit of Tutanchamun's tomb. Jelle, Crush, Knopf and I had a good time. It's kind of a modern multimedia installation to simulate the discovery of the tomb and give an idea of the historical context, both of Tutanchamun's death and of the discovery of his tomb by Howard Carter. They only showed replicas of the original finds but added some photos and copies of drawings etc. from the original dig.

Some informational boards gave a rough overview of Ancient Egypt and Howard Carter, to start the exhibition.
There was also a statue, as an example of how pharaos liked to erase the names of their predecessors. In that case the statue stood against a wall and they forgot to erase the name on the back, facing the wall. Carter was interested the the name of a previously unkown pharao and apparently started systematically searching for his tomb.

The Rosetta stone, that led to the deciphering of the hieroglyphs.
It had the same message in hieroglyphs, in a fast script used by the Egyptian scribes and in Greek.

Here's a model of the grave. Above it was the grave on Ramses V. Carter already dug there 5 years before he actually found the tomb and had to stop so as not to make the other tomb, a main tourist attraction, inaccessible. He also stopped when he found some od worker' huts because he didn't think anything would be  found under them. He only went back to them in the last dig he could finance, when he had already tried all other parts of the Valley of the Kings. You see the depression were the worker' huts were, the steps leading down, which were finally discovered during the last dig, the first walle dup entrace, the corridor leading to the 2nd walled up entrance, the entrance chamber, an additional side chamber behond that, and a wall with the burial chamber behind it and an entrance to the treasure chamber beyond that.
Grave-robbers must have been in the side chamber shortly after the tomb was originally sealed, so that was in disarray, but they didn't get much further and the tomb was re-sealed.

Next came short films and audio information before being led by the audio guide(pretending to be Carter) into the simulation of the tomb as it was originally found.

Something like this was the first view Carter had when they made a hole into the second walled door, looking into the entrance chamber:
There are different beds, a throne, weapons and a chariot in its parts, provisions, furniture...

This is what the treasury, beyond the burial chamber, looked like when it was opened.

It must have been very hard to remove the different sarcophagi from a chamber that was only about half a meter bigger in each direction that the biggest one. Photos show how Carter and his men were working with pulleys on site.
In the end they had to take out part of one wall. The sarcophagi consisted only of 4 walls and a top, they rested on the ground as the bottom.

These are the second and third sarcophagus. http://i305.photobucket.com/albums/nn233/Apperveilchen/Crush/PA260405.jpg
Inside the 3rd one was a forth, made of stone and originaly probably made for a different noble. The wings of the goddesses were added later to make it fit the pharao.

In the back is the outermost gold-encrusted coffin. To the front the middle one that's decorated colorfully.
The innermost coffing was made of pure gold and all three of the rested on a bed of wood that lasted, bearing a weight of about 1200kg, for over 3000 years.

The famous mask was much in demand, so we couln't get a really good picture or one with me in it.

This is one of the amulets he wore under the mask. It's very beautiful, isn't it?
This is a copy of Carter's original drawings to document how the amulets and pectorals were distributed on the corpse:

Here's the throne we saw earlier in the entrance chamber. I love the winged snake on the armsrest. Aren't the the feather-fans very cliché? But I guess in the Egyptian climate one might be glad for them. On the foot-rest there are pictures of the pharaos enemies from different cultures, allbound up and literally lying under his feet.

This is an ornamental bottle for oils.

In the end there was some more information about the scandal involving rowdy toursists taht cost Carter his career in Egypt, as well as how he was seen by most archeologists of the time, claiming he wasn't a real scientist. He was originally hired to document the archeologists' work by making detailed drawing, ome of which were shwon. No matter their claim, I was fascinated by the pain-staking detail and the indexing apparent in his work at this site. Dissembling the whole grave took a long time because everything was conserved on site before transport and it must have been hard to carefully extract some items, seeing how they were stacked in the tomb.

* Posted Nov 7, 2010, 3:56 pm Last edited Nov 7, 2010, 11:29 pm by Apperveilchen [Quote] Go to the top of the page


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