New photos of the Ancient Egyptian tomb of King Tutankhamun have been released, showing his golden coffin in incredible detail at the start of a major restoration project of the 3,300-year-old artefact.
A statement from the Ministry of Antiquities said the boy pharoah’s outer coffin was taken to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) on July 12 for “restoration and preservation.” This is the first time authorities have carried out work on the coffin since it was discovered almost a century ago, in 1922.
“Preliminary examination carried out on the outer coffin inside the tomb revealed that it was suffering from general weakness and it had also developed cracks in its gilded layers of plaster, especially those of the lid and base,” a statement from the Ministry said. “An immediate intervention to restore the coffin inside a suitable environment is now required.”
This is the first time the outer coffin has been restored since it was discovered in 1922. Egypt Ministry of Antiquities
Images show the outer coffin of King Tutankhamun. Egypt Ministry of Antiquities
King Tutankhamun died when he was just 19 years old. Egypt Ministry of Antiquities
King Tutankhamun was just 19 when he died and there are several theories about his death. It was once thought he was murdered by a blow to the head, but CT scans of the mummy later revealed this not to be true. Another popular theory was that he was killed in a chariot crash. More recent research suggests his death was the result of disease, including malaria, with studies indicating the pharoah, who was the product of incest, suffered multiple health problems.
After being transported from the tomb in the Valley of the Kings, the outer coffin was isolated and fumigated. Experts are restoring the coffin using non-invasive techniques, including chemical cleaning, while carrying out “scientific investigations” will take place at the same time. The restoration project is expected to last over eight months.
Tutankhamun’s tomb was found by British archaeologist Howard Carter. The burial chamber was 20 feet by 13 feet and was packed with grave goods—including a dagger made from a meteorite.
Tutankhamun had three coffins. The innermost “is mummy shaped and made of solid gold that weighs 110.4 kg,” the statement from the Ministry said. “Inside it lay the king’s mummy whose head was covered with the iconic gold mask of the boy king.”
The middle coffin is made of gilded wood and decorated with multicolored glass. Both were transferred to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo shortly after being found. The outer coffin was left in Tutankhamun’s tomb. This gold-gilded coffin measured 7.3 feet by 2.7 feet. It is 3.4 feet in height.
Once the restoration project is complete, the sarcophagus will be displayed at GEM along with Tutenkhamun’s other two coffins—the first time all three have been displayed together since their discovery.