July 20, 2012
0284 EGYPT (Cairo) - Tutankhamun's throne
It's difficult to imagine what Howard Carter felt on November 6, 1922, when he looked through the "tiny breach [made] in the top left hand corner" of the doorway of the KV62 tomb. Much has been written in, behold, the 90 years that have passed since then, many researchers studying Tutankhamun's tomb and the artifacts found in it, but with all this enough questions remained unanswered. One of them, simple but disturbing, would be that if in the tomb of a minor pharaoh, who reigned for a short period in an Egypt weakened by the "heretical wander" of Akhenaten (formerly Amenhotep IV), were found so many wonders, what must it have been around a Ramesses II?
Among the objects which accompanied Tutankhamun beyond death include his throne, made of wood completely covered in gold, and in some places silver, with inlay of coloured semi-precious stones, faience, calcite and glass paste. The style was popular for royal chairs of the 18th Dynasty.
The back of the chair (in the image), supported by three vertical struts, depicts the seated Tutankhamun (Living Image of Amun), with his queen (and also his half-sister), Ankhesenamun (formerly Ankhesenpaaten), anointing him with perfume, beneath a floral pavilion. The rays of the sun god Aton shine on the couple, giving them the sign for life, the Ankh. The king wears a composite crown and a broad collar and the queen wears a diadem. The bodies and wigs of both of them are inlaid with exquisite colored glass and their linen robes are silver.
The iconography relates to Atonist doctrines, but the names of the king and queen appearing on the chair use both the earlier (Aten) and later (Amun) forms. Such a combination indicate that the chair was probably produced rather early in Tutankhamun's reign, during the period of transition to the orthodox religion, i.e. the restoration of the god Amun to supremacy.
The stamps shows (I think) mask of Tutankhamun's mummy, no doubt the most popular icon for ancient Egypt, exposed, as the throne, at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, in Cairo.
Even if it don't fits the theme, this is a post for Postcard Friendship Friday #125, hosted on Beth's blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy. Click on the button below to visit all the other participants.
Tutankhamun's Gold Throne – Heritage Key
Throne and Footrest of Tutankhamun – Eternal Egypt
Howard Carter's diaries and journals – The Griffith Institute official site
sender: Elsayed Ahmed Elsayed Kasem (direct swap)
sent from Alexandria (Egypt), on 26.03.2012