Fascinating Treasures Discovered in King Tut’s Tomb

History

| LAST UPDATE 10/28/2022

By Veronica Anderson
King Tut Death Mask
Mostafa Elshemy/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Around a century ago, Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered by archeologists in the Valley of the Kings and what they found with it was nearly incomprehensible. From his death mask to the iron daggers, the tomb was packed with unique treasures giving researchers further insight into King Tut's life. Upon the tomb's discovery, archeologists were surprised to find such well-preserved and copious amounts of artifacts centuries after his burial. So, let's take a further look at some of the most famous (and not so famous) artifacts found years later.

Starting with the most famous artifact found in Tutankhamun's tomb, his death mask. The 21-inch long, elaborate mask was made primarily from gold inlaid with semiprecious stones such as obsidian and quartz, weighing in at 22 pounds! Written on the back of the death mask is a spell from the Book of the Dead written in hieroglyphs, which "guaranteed the mask's ability to function as the face of the deceased," according to Marianne Eaton Krauss, a senior fellow at the American Research Center in Egypt. 

King Tut Tombs Artifact
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
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In addition to the death mask, King Tut was found with two daggers, one with a gold blade and the other with an iron blade, but both wrapped in the pharaoh's mummy bandages. It is unclear if the daggers were used for hunting or not, but they both showed signs of wear, according to Katja Broschat, who co-wrote Iron from Tutankhamun's Tomb. On the complete opposite spectrum, Tutankhamun's tomb was found with multiple board games. Although the rules are not entirely too clear, the beautiful board game set was made of ivory and designed for a large group of twenty!

Among the lesser-known items found in King Tut's tomb was a mannequin used as an aid to choose, adjust and store his ornate jewels and rich clothing. "Tut was, of course, a very snappy dresser with a huge wardrobe, both for his life and afterlife," according to Laura Ranieri Roy, founder and director of Ancient Egypt Alive. So to accompany such a full wardrobe, Tutankhuman's mummy was found wearing gold sandals. However, according to Andrew Veldmeijer, director of the Ancient Egyptian Footwear Project, he most likely would not have worn these while he was alive, and they were created for his burial. Items such as his throne, chariots, trumpets, gold buckles, and more were also found tucked away in his tomb.

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