2012/03/27

The Statue of Khonsu, God of the Moon

The Statue of Khonsu, God of the Moon



This statue represents the god of the moon, Khonsu, son of Amun-Re and Mut. He is holding the composite scepter, the insignia of kingship that symbolized prosperity and stability.

This statue shows Khonsu as a youth with the side lock of hair. Khonsu's facial features resemble those of Tutankhamun. This statue also identifies Khonsu with Ptah. This might explain why there are scenes of the worship of Ptah inside the Chapel of Khonsu in the great open court of the Temple of Amun at Karnak.

The Statue of Horemheb

The Statue of Horemheb





This statue represents a male figure, most probably King Horemheb, the last king of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

He is shown striding forward, wearing a short kilt and the Blue Crown of war ornamented with a uraeus, or royal cobra. The king's left arm is by his side; the right hand holds a standard. The upper part of the standard is missing, which prevents the identification of the deity that was depicted upon it.

The statue bears no inscription, which would have allowed identification of this king. However, the lean body, almond eyes, small straight lips and the median line bisecting the torso, suggest that the statue represents King Horemheb. The artistic style is that of the Eighteenth Dynasty, prior to the time of King Amenhotep the Third.

Group Statue of Ramesses The Third with Horus and Seth

Group Statue of Ramesses The Third with Horus and Seth



The group represents King Ramesses the Third, the god Horus and the god Seth. The three statues are standing and are all approximately the same height. The statue of the king is between the other two, which are represented in profile.

Ramesses the Third is wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt with the royal cobra on the front, a wide collar of many rows, and the royal pleated kilt, the shendyt, with a long belt hanging down to the bottom of it. He is holding the ankh sign of life in his right hand and the roll of power in his left hand. His left leg is forward.

The statues of the gods, Horus and Seth, are in the same posture with the left leg forward; they are each holding the ankh, and wearing the Egyptian pectoral and the shendyt kilt. Each god has placed one hand on the crown of the king, performing the Coronation of Ramesses the Third.

The Two Bracelets of Ramesses The Great

The Two Bracelets of Ramesses the Second


They were made from Gold and Lapis Lazuli . A pair of rigid gold bracelets, each composed of two parts linked by a hinge.

The fine decoration is executed by the granulation technique and consists mostly of geometric motifs. The bezel is composed of a goose, which has two heads turned backwards over the body, carved out of one piece of lapis lazuli.

The fact that the cartouches of Ramesses the Second and the words for right and left are incised alongside the clasps of the bracelets, suggests that both of these bracelets were the actual ones worn by the king himself.

The Excavating the Tomb of Tutankahmun


The tomb of Tutankhamun, which is today designated as KV 62, was number 4.33 in Howard Carter's sequence of discoveries since 1915. It did not take Lord Carnarvon and Carter long to appreciate the enormity of the discovery and its implications. While Arthur Callender, a close friend of Carter, had been helping him, more assistance in clearing the tomb would certainly be needed. When, soon after the discovery, Albert Lythgoe, then Curator of the Metropolitan Museum's Egyptian Department, cabled his congratulations and offered help, Carter took him at his word, responding:

"Thanks message [of congratulations]. Discovery colossal and need every assistance. Could you consider load of Burton in recording in time being? Costs to us. Immediately reply would oblige. Every regard, Carter, Continental, Cairo."

Close ties had already existed between Carter, Carnarvon and the Metropolitan Museum, and so Carter was granted his request. In due course, the Metropolitan Museum's generosity would be rewarded when Carter helped them acquire the Carnarvon collection.

However, within a matter of days, Carter received other offers of help. On December 9th Alfred Lucas, a chemist with the Egyptian Government, came forward. With him aboard, the clearance of Tutankhamun's tomb seems to have been the first ever archaeological expedition to have its own resident chemist.

Then on December 12th Arthur Mace, an Egyptologist with the Metropolitan Expedition, was also put at Carter's disposal. Six days later, James Breasted, Director of the Oriental Institute in Chicago arrived to begin work on the seal impressions which covered the plastered blockings. The Metropolitan team also provided him with Hauser and Hall, two architects who began work on drawing a plan of the objects in situ. Then, on January 3rd, Alan Gardiner, a British philologist, arrived to start work on the inscriptions.

Others would eventually join the team, including Percy Newberry, another of Carter's old friends. It became a showpiece of academic cooperation that would in time also draw in Douglas Derry of the Cairo Anatomy School, and Seleh Bey Hamdi of Alexandria to conduct the postmortem examination of the mummy, Battiscombe Gunn to work on the ostraca for the final publication, L. A. Boodle, a botanist from Kew Gardens, James R. Ogden, a Harrogate jeweler to report on aspects of the gold work, Alexander Scott and H. J. Plenderleith of the British Museum for analytical assistance, G. F. Hulme of the Geological Survey of Egypt, and others.





Part of the reason that there was so much politics surrounding the discovery and excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun was that Howard Carter was a very advanced excavator for his time. It is said that anyone else would have had the tomb cleared and the objects it contained on display within a month of the tomb's discovery, but it took Carter almost a decade to carefully preserve and remove the treasures to Cairo. The difference shows the caution with which Carter approached this undertaking, which more resembles the efforts of modern excavators.

Of course, most of the political challenges came in the first two seasons of work, creating distractions and difficulties, but afterwards, Carter and his team settled into a thorough and methodical routine, maintaining complete records for each discovery and working to preserve each antiquity as they were brought out of the tomb. The excavation used the tomb of Ramesses XI (KV4) as a storeroom for supplies and for minor finds from the stairwell and corridor, and later the tomb of Seti II (KV15) was turned into a secure field conservation laboratory and photographic studio. Also, KV55, just across the path from the Tut's tomb, was made into a darkroom for Harry Burton.




Howard Carter established a routine for processing what must have seemed like an endless flow of treasures from the tomb. Each object or group of objects was given a reference number. The main reference numbers ranged from 1 to 620, though there were subdivisions for objects within a numbered group denoted by the use of single or multiple letters (a, b, c, etc). Additional subdivisions were noted by bracketed Arabic numerals. Group no. 620 is anomalous in that it was given subdivisions numbered from 1 to 123. (i.e. 620:1 to 620:123).

After objects in the tomb were provided with reference numbers, photographs were taken of the items in situ with and without the reference number cards. The camera was repositioned several times in order to show every object at least once in one of the shots. A brief description was also provided, as well as a sketch if appropriate, on a numbered record card (by Carter or Mace), and the place of the objects discovery was located on a ground plan of the tomb (prepared by Hall and Hauser). Afterwards, the piece was removed to the laboratory for treatment by Lucas and Mace, where more photographs were made. After the conservation of the object was completed, a further photograph was made. This routine was carried out for many thousands of objects, over several seasons, sometimes in sweltering heat, and under pressure from the press, who were soon complaining about the excessive time the clearance was taking. There was also a constant flow of visitors to the tomb, including some 12,000 at the height of the King Tut hysteria between January 1 and March 15th, 1926.




 

Clearance of the Antechamber was begun on December 27th 1922. It took seven weeks to finish, and used up more than a mile of cotton wadding and 32 bales of calico to secure the objects. Afterwards, and at the end of each successive season, the objects were crated up with extreme care using hundreds of feet of timber, and transported to the Nile river using the human powered Decauville (narrow gauge) railway. Though only a relatively short distance, the train track was not permanent and Carter was given only a meager number of rail-lengths that had to be constantly "leapfrogged", so it took some 15 hours to move the train to the river during the heat of the summer months.

Only the gold coffin and mask were not transported by river. They were conveyed by a train in a special "Service Car" with an armed guard from the Egyptian army. At the end of each season, for security against not only theft but also floods, the tomb entrance was covered over with a watertight wooden blocking erected over a wooden portcullis, and guarded by a local policeman. Carter would later tell us that: "It had been our privilege to find the most important collection of Egyptian antiquities that had ever seen the light, and it was for us to show that we were worthy of the trust."


The Valley of the Kings - Tombs of the Pharaohs

The Valley of the Kings - Tombs of the Pharaohs





 It called also the Valley of the Gates of the Kings .Tt is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom (the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Dynasties of Ancient Egypt). The valley stands on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes (modern Luxor), within the heart of the Theban Necropolis. The wadi consists of two valleys, East Valley (where the majority of the royal tombs are situated) and West Valley. 

 

With the 2006 discovery of a new chamber (KV63), and the 2008 discovery of 2 further tomb entrances, the valley is known to contain 63 tombs and chambers (ranging in size from KV54, a simple pit, to KV5, a complex tomb with over 120 chambers). It was the principal burial place of the major royal figures of the Egyptian New Kingdom, together with those of a number of privileged nobles. The royal tombs are decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology and give clues to the beliefs and funerary rituals of the period. Almost all of the tombs seem to have been opened and robbed in antiquity, but they still give an idea of the opulence and power of the rulers of this time.

This area has been a focus of archaeological and egyptological exploration since the end of the eighteenth century, and its tombs and burials continue to stimulate research and interest. In modern times the valley has become famous for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun (with its rumours of the Curse of the Pharaohs), and is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. In 1979, it became a World Heritage Site, along with the rest of the Theban Necropolis. Exploration, excavation and conservation continues in the valley, and a new tourist centre has recently been opened.


The Egyptian belief that "To speak the name of the dead is to make him live again" is certainly carried out in the building of the tombs. The king's formal names and titles are inscribed in his tomb along with his images and statues. Beginning with the 18th Dynasty and ending with the 20th, the kings abandoned the Memphis area and built their tombs in Thebes. Also abandoned were the pyramid style tombs. Most of the tombs were cut into the limestone following a similar pattern: three corridors, an antechamber and a sunken sarcophagus chamber. These catacombs were harder to rob and were more easily concealed. Construction usually lasted six years, beginning with the new reign. The text in the tombs are from the Book of the Dead, the Book of the Gates and the Book of the Underworld. See also a history and overview of the Valley of the Kings.

 
Entry to the Valley of the Kings

Ramesses IV

Three white corridors descend to the sarcophagus chamber in this tomb. The chambers ceilings depict the goddess Nut. The lid of the pink granite sarcophagus is decorated with Isis and Nephthys, which were meant to serve as guardians over the body. Their duties fell short, however, as the tomb was robbed in ancient times. Originally the priests placed the sarcophagus in Amenhotep II's tomb in order to hide the body, which was a common practice.



Ramesses IX

Two sets of steps lead down to the tomb door that is decorated with the Pharaoh worshipping the solar disc. Isis and Nephthys stand behind him on either side. Three corridors lead into an antechamber that opens into a pillared hall. The passage beyond that leads to the sarcophagus chamber.

Merneptah

The steep descent into the tombis typical of the designs of the XIX Dynasty. The entrance is decorated with Isis and Nephthys worshiping the solar disc. Text from the Book of the Gates line the corridors. The outer granite lid of the sarcophagus is located in the antechamber, while the lid of the inner sarcophagus is located down more steps in the pillared hall. Carved on the pink granite lid is the figure of Merneptah as Osiris.

Ramesses VI

Originally built for Ramesses V this tomb has three chambers and a 4th pillared chamber was added by Ramesses VI. Complete texts of the Book of the Gates, the Book of Caverns and the Book of Day and Night line the chambers. Portions of the Book of the Dead are located in the pillared chamber, along with scenes of the sky goddess, Nut.

The Burial Chamber in the Tomb of Ramesses VI

Ramesses III

The tomb is sometimes referred to as the "Harpers Tomb" due to the two harpers playing to the gods in four of the chambers. Ten small chambers branch off of the main corridors. These were for the placement of tomb furniture.


Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu


Seti I

The longest tomb in the valley, 100m, contains very well preserved reliefs in all of its eleven chambers and side rooms. One of the back chambers is decorated with the Ritual of the Opening of the Mouth, which stated that the mummy's eating and drinking organs were properly functioning. Believing in the need for these functions in the afterlife, this was a very important ritual. The sarcophagus is now in the Sir John Soane Museum, London.



From the Temple of Seti I at Abydos
Tuthmosis III


The approach to this unusual tomb is an ascent up wooden steps, crossing over a pit, and then a steep descent down into the tomb. The pit was probably dug as a deterrent to tomb robbers. Two small chambers, decorated with stars, and a larger vestibule are in front of the sarcophagus chamber, which is uniquely rounded and decorated with only red and black.

 









Amenhotep II

In this Tomb, a steep flight of stairs and a long unadorned corridor lead to the sarcophagus chamber. Three mummies, Tuthmosis IV, Amenhotep II III and Seti II, were found in one side room and nine mummies were found in another.

Horemheb

This tomb's construction is identical to that of Seti I's with the exception of some of the inner decorations.


Temple


Tutankhamun

Though small and unimpressive, Tutankhamun's Tomb is probably the most famous, due to its late discovery. Howard Carter's description upon opening the tomb in 1922 was, "At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flames to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and gold - everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment - an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by - I was dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, 'Can you see anything?' it was all I could do to get out the words, "Yes, wonderful things.

 

"' The royal seal on the door was found intact. The first three chambers were unadorned, with evidence of early entrance through one of the outside walls. The next chamber contained most of the funerary objects. The sarcophagus was four guilded wooden shrines, one inside the other, within which lay the stone sarcophagus, three mummiform coffins, the inner one being solid gold, and then the mummy. Haste can be seen in the reliefs and the sarcophagus, due to the fact that Tutankhamun died at only 19 years of age following a brief reign. Though extremely impressive to the modern world, the treasures of Tutankhamun must have paled when compared to the tombs of the great Pharaohs that ruled for many years during Egypt's golden age.

 Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs


Additional Tombs: 

18th Dynasty Tombs -19th Dynasty Tombs - 20th Dynasty Tombs :-





KV 12 unknown
KV 41 unknown

KV 20 Hatshepsut
KV 42 Hatshepsut-Meryetre

KV 21 two queens
KV 43 Tuthmosis IV

WV 22 Amenhetep III
KV 44 Anen (?)

WV 23 Ay
KV 45 Userhet

WV 24 unknown
KV 46 Yuya and Thuya

WV 25 Akhenaten (?)
KV 48 Amenemopet

KV 26 unknown
KV 49 Maya (?)

KV 27 unknown
KV 50 animals

KV 28 unknown
KV 51 animals

KV 29 unknown
KV 52 animals

KV 30 unknown
KV 53 unknown

KV 31 unknown
KV 54 ca. Tutankhamen

KV 32 unknown
KV 55 Tiye, Akhenaten or Other

KV 33 ca. Tuthmosis III
KV 56 unknown

KV 34 Tuthmosis III
KV 57 Horemheb

KV 35 Amenhetep II
KV 58 ca. Ay

KV 36 Maiherperi
KV 59 unknown

KV 37 ca. Tuthmosis III
KV 60 two women (Setri In?)

KV 38 Tuthmosis I
KV 61 unknown

KV 39 unknown
KV 62 Tutankhamen

KV 40 unknown






KV 5 Sons of Rameses II
KV 1 Rameses VII

KV 7 Rameses II
KV 2 Rameses IV

KV 8 Merenptah
KV 3 ca. Rameses III

KV 10 Amenmeses
KV 4 Rameses XI

KV 13 Bay
KV 6 Rameses IX

KV 14 Tausert / Setnakht
KV 9 Rameses V / VI

KV 15 Seti II
KV 11 Rameses III

KV 16 Rameses I
KV 18 Rameses X

KV 17 Seti I
KV 19 Mentuherkhepshef

KV 47 Siptah