Monday, November 05, 2007

The face of Tutankhamun goes on display in his tomb

More than 3,000 years after his death, King Tutankhamun went on display to the public yesterday in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings, a slightly bucktoothed boy who died aged 19.

King Tut’s mummified face – which has been seen only by about 50 people since the British archaeologist Howard Carter opened the tomb exactly 85 years ago – was revealed to the world in a climate-controlled glass display case in an antechamber of his own tomb in the valley near Luxor, where generations of Egyptian pharaohs were buried.

“Everyone is dreaming of what he looks like. The face of Tutankhamun is different from any king in the Cairo museum. With his beautiful buck teeth, the tourists will see a little bit of the smile from the face of the golden boy,” said Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s leading expert on the famous boy King.

Dr Hawass expects a huge influx of tourists to see the mummy, to be displayed in the tomb indefinitely. Only the face can be seen, with the body wrapped in linen.

Accompanied by two photographs.

Also on The Telegraph Online, by Michael Oakey from Sussex Egyptology Society (I never miss an opportunity to give them a good plug!):

Tutankhamun's startled-looking empty eye-sockets seemed to ask, "What's going on?" as he was lifted from his stone sarcophagus into the glare of television lights yesterday. He, and we, may well wonder.

  • In pictures: King Tut's face revealed
  • Tutankhamun's face shown for first time
  • Better preservation is the headline reason why the mummy of the boy pharaoh has been transferred a few feet to a sealed, climate-controlled case within his cramped subterranean tomb; but there is a wider significance.