The Golden Sublimity of King Tut’s Coffins

September 13, 2023

The mummy of king Tutankhamun was laid inside 3 coffins nested within each, with the innermost coffin made of 110.4 kg of solid gold.The mummy of king Tutankhamun was laid inside 3 coffins nested within each, with the innermost coffin made of 110.4 kg of solid gold. For the first time since his tomb wasI’ve been reading and thinking about the sublime aspects of gold (Au, element 79) for several years, but in contemplating a first blog post about gold my mind instantly went to King Tut and his golden coffins. Yes, there are actually three nested coffins–and the famous death (or funerary) mask. Why King Tut? Well, there are several possible reasons why the famous coffins of a pharaoh popped into my head: perhaps it’s because I’m still mourning the death of two friends this past November, or perhaps it’s due to the recent Nativity and Epiphany seasons where we recall that the Holy Family journeyed to Egypt as refugees fleeing King Herod, or perhaps the King Tut coffins and death mask at this point are simply the prime archetype of something made of gold. 

Quartzite Sarcophagus of Tutankhamun - Madain Project (en)(And speaking of the Holy Family, isn’t it a sublime thought that when Joseph, Mary, and young Jesus journeyed to Egypt, those famous King Tut coffins had already been buried in their tomb for over 1300 years?)Funerary mask of Tutankhamen (“King Tut”), placed directly over the head and shoulders of the actual mummy

Tutmask