2014/04/22

Tutankhamun Glove

The Glove of King Tutankhamun


The glove of King Tutankhamun is the same as a modern glove. A glove would be in the shape of the hand and have five fingers like this one, or two fingers like another one that was found belonging to the same king in his tomb.

Most probably, gloves in ancient Egypt were not used to keep the hands warm, as in cold countries, but were worn for horse riding, so were made of linen and not of wool.

The Glove of King Tutankhamun

Linen was the national textile in Egypt and the figures for the flax harvest were shown on the tomb's walls beside those for the corn harvest.

Tutankhamun Statue Holding the Insignia of Osiris

The Statue of Tutankhamun Holding the Insignia of Osiris



This statue is one of six that survive of the eleven Osiride sandstone figures that were attributed to Tutankhamun. They once stood in front of great ram-headed sphinxes that lined the avenue from the tenth pylon of Karnak to the Mut temple precinct nearby.

The King's statues were intended to show respect for the god and receive protection from him. The statue depicts the king with his arms crossed on his chest holding the insignia of Osiris, the god of the dead, the Heqa scepter, and the flail Nekhekh of dignity. The King is wearing the Nemes linen head cloth, which leaves his ears free to hear the prayers.

Tutankhamun Statue Holding the Insignia of Osiris

The king, in this sculpture, is identified with the god Osiris, thus coming under his protection. He could then share the offerings and prayers brought to the god.

Hundreds of stone statues and thousands of bronze statuettes were found hidden for about three millennia in a cache in the court of the seventh pylon of Karnak. Among these, a few sculptures in the round were found that represented the young King Tutankhamun.



Shawabti of Tutankhamun with Nubian Wig


One of many shawabties that were found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun. They portray the king with a young face but differ in details such as the hairstyle or the headdress the statuette is wearing.

This gilded wood shawabti wears a short curly Nubian-style wig of the sort that was reserved for use by the royal family, both men and women.

Shawabti of Tutankhamun with Nubian Wig

The royal uraeus was probably inserted in the small hole on the forehead below the gilded band of the headdress. The scepter that the statuette holds is made of bronze but the flail, the other item of royal insignia, has been lost.

The four columns of inscriptions on the statuette are the formula of Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead, in which the deceased requests his shawabti to respond in his place when Osiris calls him to work in the fields of the afterlife .

Vase Flanked by the Symbol of United Egypt the semataway


This beautiful vase has a long cylindrical neck with a circular lid, a rounded belly decorated in relief with many flower petals and two elegant handles.

The two sides of the vase are decorated with an identical openwork design, which represents lotus and papyrus flowers, the symbols of Upper and Lower Egypt.



Vase Flanked by the Symbol of United Egypt the semataway

On each side, three papyrus plants ending with three triangular papyrus flowers are shown emerging from a lotus flower at the bottom.

The vase and the openwork are placed on a large rectangular base with four legs, decorated with openwork geometrical motifs.

The sm3 t3wy sign represents the trachea and the lungs of the king with papyrus and lotus plant tied around it which means that the people of Egypt catch their breath of life through the lungs of the king.


2014/04/14

The Child Museum


Science, technology, imagination, truth in the past, present and future; all interact to create a wonderful world for the Egyptian child, namely, the Child Museum. It is an edifice that appeals to a child's intelligence and inquisitive nature, allowing interaction with what he sees in full freedom. Children at this museum are able to deal with high technology and modern methods to enrich their knowledge and imagination.

Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, the patron of Egyptian children, was the first to express the wish to establish a museum for children that ushers them into an attractive world where they are encouraged to observe, get acquainted with and discover everything new and by comparison and touch - try to find for themselves the answers to their questions.
The aim of establishing a child museum is to make the child feel his/her absolute importance.

The Child Museum



Since 1985, for over ten years, specialized working groups of Egyptian and world experts in fields of science, technology, physics, history, geography, civilization, geology, architecture, engineering and arts of exhibitions have all exerted concerted efforts to create a distinguished
and unique museum for the Egyptian child.




Tour of the Museum:

A child starts his tour of the museum after he receives his "passport". He sees, listens and gets acquainted with all the different aspects of life, starting with the ancient forefathers and progressing up to modern times.

He begins to realize the relations between all objects, and the fact that he is a part of everything he observes in nature and in evolution.

The museum provides the child with cultural knowledge of Egypt, his motherland, with all its physical, environmental, artistic and scientific characteristics.

The Museum Itself:

The Children’s Museum and its annexes lie in the forest park in Heliopolis, Cairo. The park covers an area of about 13.5 feddans of various plants and trees, which bear labels indicating their names and species so that the child can acquire knowledge of nature as he walks through
it.

The main building of the museum is in the center of the park and is made up of four divisions, each of which narrates the story of an epoch or geographical environment.

The tour begins by viewing nine television screens showing Egyptian children dressed in fashions of various regions, in addition to images of each of these environments. The children are thrilled to see their own images as part of the show by means of a closed circuit television
system.

The Pharaonic civilization explains to the child how the Ancient Egyptians dealt with the River Nile, silt, plants, rocks and minerals, and how he made his clothes, food and houses.

The various devices of irrigation are displayed, and a child can see each one of them by pressing a button.

The process of spinning, weaving and garment manufacture from plant fibers are also on show. There are audio-visual aids that explain to a child the story of writing, the invention of dyes and colors, the hieroglyphic alphabet as compared to that of Arabic, as well as the methods
followed by the French in deciphering the Rosetta Stone inscriptions 200 years ago.

Other displays acquaint the child with Ancient Egyptian skills in ship-building. The main building has a hall in which a stone building is exhibited. By a press-button system, a child can see a mechanical movement of the Pyramid by which it is segmented to reveal its inner passages and rooms. The various kinds of stones, methods of cutting and leveling are also viewed on the screen.

The River Nile Hall:

In this hall children watch a video tape of pictures of the course of the Nile from its different sources to its mouth, accompanied by a dialogue among children wearing the costumes of the various regions of the Nile Valley. They also see images of the animals and plants of every area
of Egypt.

This hall exhibits three communities: the source of the Nile inhabitants; Nubia region; and the countryside in Upper and Lower Egypt. The video tape plays songs and music characterizing peoples of the Nile.


The Hall of Deserts:

Here a child gets acquainted with Egyptian deserts, their resources, their plants and animals, and how those are adapted to severe hot climates and scarcity of water.

By merely touching a picture of any animal on an electronic screen, a child can see a short film of his choice. He can also see films on the desert minerals, precious stones and sources of energy, and listen to a dialogue among the three Egyptian deserts: the eastern, the western
and Sinai. The dialogue explains dunes and formations, as well as dangers that might meet a desert visitor.

The Red Sea Hall:

This exhibits the different environments of the Red Sea, whether in the coastal areas or deep under the sea, where a child tours the different depths in a submarine to see the beautiful coral reefs and colourful fish. The show explains the sources of pollution and the damage it incurs
on marine life, urging children to protect the environment.

A Gift:

The second floor of the Museum has a full-size statue of Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak holding an open book and addressing the children of Egypt. The message delivered in her voice urges children to read and enrich their knowledge by having a library in every Egyptian home. Children stand in front of "Mama Suzanne" listening to her advice.

The statue, which has the library as a background, was presented to Mrs Mubarak from the British Museum for her work as the patron of childhood in Egypt.

The British Museum has taken part in and supervised the establishment of the Children’s Museum.

Activity Center and Information Hall:


The Children’s Museum has an activity center occupying the southern pavilion behind the Museum.

The "Discovery Hall" is one section of the Activity Center. It comprises many boxes in which a child discovers contents and tries to identify them as different elements from the environment he has seen in the main building, such as precious stones, fossils and shells.

The "Handicrafts and Arts Hall" is located in the pavilion to the right of the Discovery Hall. It displays all the necessary equipment for a child to practice various hobbies and arts, such as drawing on wood or leather with paint and water colors, weaving on carpet looms, or
painting on glass and cardboard. Here children can freely practice their hobbies and creative skills.

The "Know yourself" division houses skeletons and the internal human body parts, so that a child may get acquainted with them by dismantling and rebuilding them once again.

The "Information Hall" comprises a great number of books, video and cassette tapes, pictures, slides, and multimedia CD-ROMs. It helps a young researcher to teach himself all fields of knowledge such as history, geography, anthropology, environment, nature study and science.
Periodical meetings are held in this hall where children, parents and teachers meet to exchange views on matters dealing with education development.



The Museum Park:

The park surrounding the Museum is rich in numerous plants and trees carrying labels of information on every species for a child to read and compare as he tours the park. He can then try to draw what he observed with the help of the tour leader.

Children are provided with the opportunity to watch the birds in the park picking their food from the ground and compare their beaks, feathers and claws. They can also observe the birds' nests using binoculars.

Children watch the colorful butterflies in flower beds and try to draw the ones they liked best. The tour instructor helps children to keep suitable distances away from butterflies and other insects, so as not to disturb them. By means of magnifying glasses children are taught how
to observe the behavior of ants, bees and other insects.

Leading Experience:

In this way the Child Museum is not merely a building displaying objects, but rather a pioneer experience in Egypt where building, park and child interact and are integrated. A child's freedom to discover, think, innovate and observe is of paramount importance.

The Wooden Statue of Hapi as a Mummy

The Statue of Hapi as a Mummy

The Wooden Statue of Hapi as a Mummy



The gilded wooden statue depicts Hapi, the god of the Nile, standing on a small rectangular base. Hapi is usually portrayed as a fat bearded man with heavy breasts, wearing a crown of reeds and lotus blossoms.

However, in this statue, Hapi is in the form of a mummy. His body is completely enveloped in a cloak and his arms are crossed on his chest, which is adorned with a large pectoral. The body is entirely gilded, except for his eyes, eyebrows, and false beard. He wears a three-part wig on his head.

Tutankhamun Pectoral with the Throne Name

The Pectoral with the Throne Name of Tutankhamun



This is a masterpiece of jewel from the collection of Tutankhamun. It is a pectoral decorated in a complex way: the central part of the pectoral, which represents the name of the king, consists, in the middle, of a large lapis lazuli scarab. Below it is the hieroglyphic sign "neb", which resembles a basket inlaid with blue glass; above this are the solar and lunar disks made of electrum.


The outer edges of the pectoral are decorated with two cobras that appear to be too large in comparison to the ankh signs, and the eyes of Horus, which are depicted very tightly under the name of the king.

The central scarab is provided with the wings of a falcon. At the bottom of the pectoral is a frieze of lotus flowers interspersed with cornflowers and roundels, all inlaid with lapis lazuli, carnelian, and colored glass.

2014/04/12

Tutankhamun Vulture Collar

Vulture Collar  of Tutankhamun

When the predynastic kingdom of Upper Egypt conquered the Lower Egyptian kingdom and the two crowns were unified, it was natural that the principal deities of the conquerors should accompany them and extend their realms accordingly. One of these deities was the vulture-goddess Nekhbet, whose sanctuary lay at Nekheb (Elkhab) on the east bank of the Nile, across from Nekhen (Hierakonpolis), the capital of the Upper Egyptian kings, whose patron god was Horus. Very probably it was the geographical proximity of Nekheb to the capital that first made it desirable for the local rulers to recognize the goddess; in return for their recognition they received her protection.   In her capacity as royal protectress, she could hardly fail to gain kudos from the successful conquest of her protégé, Menes.

 Her position as a tutelary goddess of the kings of united Egypt was firmly established at the beginning of the dynastic period and remained unaffected by political and religious changes, except in the Amarna period, throughout Egyptian history. The flexible gold collar, which represents the vulture-goddess Nekhbet, was placed on the thorax of the king's mummy so that it covered the whole of the chest and extended upwards to the shoulders. The elongated wings, set in a circular fashion, are divided into districts that are composed of 250 segments, with feathers engraved on the back and inlaid on the front with polychrome glass in imitation of turquoise, jasper, and lapis lazuli.

Tutankhamun Vulture Collar

The segments were held together by thread that passed through small golden eyelets projecting from their upper and lower edges.  On one side of each segment, except in the district known as the lesser coverts - at the top of the wing, close to the body - there is a border of minute gold beads that divides its feathers from those of its neighbor. The body of the bird is inlaid in the same manner as the lesser coverts, while the tail feathers resemble the primary and the secondary districts of the wings. Both the beak and the eye in the delicately chased head are made of obsidian. In each of the talons the bird grasps the hieroglyphic shen sign, inlaid with read and blue glass.

 A floral-shaped mankhet counterpoise, which was attached by gold wires to eyelets at the back of the wings, hung down the back of the mummy. Collars and necklaces were placed on Egyptian mummies not as objects of adornment but to provide magical protection. They were also represented on the cartonnage covers of mummies and on the lids of anthropoid coffins. Among the many collar amulets painted on the walls of rectangular wooden coffins dating from the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000 B.C.) are four made of gold and inlaid on the outer surface, shaped to represent a falcon, vulture, winged cobra, and combined vulture and cobra. 

Tutankhamun's mummy, which was more than half a millennium later in date than these coffins, was equipped with all these inlaid collars except the cobra collar, in addition to all four collars in sheet gold without inlay. They were purely funerary in character and very different from the bead or gold collars worn in life.

Amulet of Tutankhamun Throne Name

 The  Amulet of Tutankhamun Throne Name  


Egyptian kings, when they ascended the throne, assumed four names and titles besides the name that they already possessed and to which the title "Son of Ra" was added. In formal documents, particularly those carved on monuments to record historical events and personal achievements, all five names and titles might be written, but the usual practice was to employ only the throne and personal names, both of which were written, as a rule, within cartouches. If space was too restricted to allow room for more than one name, it was generally the throne name that was chosen. Several pieces among Tutankhamun's jewelry bear only the throne name, Nebkheperura, without a title.  It was spelled with three signs, representing a basket (neb), a beetle, to which three vertical strokes were added to indicate the plural (kheperu), and the sun's disk (ra).

 Amulet of Tutankhamun Throne Name

The name of the sun-god Ra was written first for honorific reasons and the basket was written last because, when the name was written in an upright cartouche, the sign filled the rounded base of the cartouche. In one respect only does the name show any variation: the beetle may or may not have wings, but the reading is unaffected by their presence or absence. The pendant illustrated here is an example of the writing of the throne name without the addition of the title "king of Upper and Lower Egypt." In common with other pendants of its kind among Tutankhamun's jewelry, the scarab is disproportionately large. 

It is made of very heavy gold plate, finely chased on both the upper and the lower surfaces. The sun's disk, inlaid with carnelian and flanked by pendent uraei, is held in the front claws (one broken) of the scarab, thus reproducing the action of the beetle in nature. Beneath the scarab, and separated from it by the three strokes indicating the plural, is the basket, made of gold and inlaid with blue glass.  Fragments of what seem to have been the beaded borders of wings remain attached to the left side of the basket and the right-hand edge of the sun's disk.

The surviving traces do not appear to fit a cartouche or, at the base, an additional band of gold, as suggested by Carter. A gold eyelet for suspension is soldered to the back of the plate bearing the sun's disk. Two rows of small gold beads, found on the neck of the scarab, are not shown in the photograph, but some blue and gold beads can be seen between the left-hand uraeus and the head.


Tutankhamun Votive Shield

 The Votive Shield of Tutankhamun


This shield is one of eight that Carter found in the Annex. Boomerangs, throw-sticks, bows and arrows were also among the military equipment stored in this room. Although this elaborately decorated object, like three similar shields, was never meant for use in life, four of the shields clearly were battle-worthy. Made of wood and covered in animal hide, they were slightly smaller in size than the ceremonial versions. The four larger shields were constructed similarly in that the background of each composition was cut away, leaving an openwork design. Each was made of wood that was smoothed with gesso and then gilded.

Tutankhamun Shield

On the front of the shield Tutankhamun triumphantly brandishes a scimitar in his right hand and holds the tails of his foes, two lions, in his left. Representations of the king smiting enemies had already become a standard theme in Egyptian art, and the artist here is recreating a traditional motif, albeit with some modifications, that had already been in existence for more than fifteen hundred years. Behind him, the Upper Egyptian vulture goddess, Nekhbet, spreads her protective wings about him. The basket upon which she perches rests on the plant symbolic of Lower Egypt, the papyrus.

The winged sun disk hovers over the whole scene, while the king is about to slay the lions, which considering the context should be understood as symbolic representations of his traditional enemies. Aside from the usual epithets, the hieroglyphic inscription likens the king to the warlike god of Thebes, Montu.

2014/04/03

Goddess Qebhut


Goddess Qebhut the daughter of Anubis

 Kebhwt was the goddess of freshness or fresh air, and the mountain  of El-Quorna in the west bank of Thebes. She was the daughter of god Anubis from his wife Anput. She was considered to have an important role in the mummification with her father as she gives water to the deceased while he awaits the mummification process to be completed. 

She was considered the goddess of freshness and purification via water, by pouring water on the body of the deceased to make refresh to the deceased, and she brought the sacred water to Anubis for his tasks. She was thought to give water to the spirits of the dead while they were waiting for the mummification process to be complete; she was playing a major role in the funerary rite.

She was probably related to mummification where she would fortify the body against corruption, so it would stay fresh for reanimation by the KA of the deceased.

Goddess Qebhut the daughter of Anubis




 She was associated with 2 main goddesses:

1-      Meryt Sgrt as both of them were serpent goddesses and both of them were goddesses of the western mountain.

2-     Maat: because one of her forms was as an ostrich. This could be one of the reasons why there is a feather represented at her back.

 Her name in ancient Egyptian:  kebhut, kebhet or qebshut and it means the cooling water or offering libation. She was considered to be the goddess of freshness and purification Kebhut was represented as a woman with a snakehead or a complete snake with stars on her body carrying water.

A rare representation depicted her as an ostrich which was representative of goddess Maat, goddess of justice. She was rarely represented, and one of her performances is in the Valley of the Kings in the tomb of King Merenptah KV 8 in the 19 dynasty, and she was represented in the company of the goddesses and the god Osiris Nadjty.

Tutankhamun gilded wooden bed

 The gilded wooden bed with floral footboard of king Tutankhamun

This bed is considered one of the finest beds of the ordinary beds collection. It was found in the Antechamber. Carter considered it to have the best proportions of all non-rituals beds found in the tomb.

 Tutankhamun gilded wooden bed
 It stands relatively high on its lion legs and it is elegantly curved from front to back. The so-called drums underneath the lion paws here and on much other furniture were designed to facilitate the stabilization of the bed on uneven floors.

The whole bed is covered with thick gold sheets and the mattress is made of woven plant fibres. When in use it would have been lavishly piled with linen to soften the surface.

The footboard is divided into panels of decoration embossed in the gold foil. In the centre is the conventional heraldic design of the union of the two lands of upper and Lower Egypt (the Sematawy). On either side are two panels, one showing a clump of papyrus, the other, narrower, a trophy bouquet of papyrus and lotus flowers. 

In these designs Carter claimed to see the influences of Amarna naturalistic art. 


Emblem of Anubis from Tutankhamun Collection

 Emblem of Anubis from Tutankhamun Collection


        This emblem is one of a pair of identical emblems found in the North-West and South-West corners of the burial chamber of Tutankhamun. (One of them is now on display in an exhibition out of the country)

Emblem of Anubis from Tutankhamun Collection

·        The upper part, made of wood overlaid with gesso and gilded, represents a pole terminating in a lotus bud and an inflated animal-skin suspended on the pole by a copper wire tail ending in a papyrus flower. The base consists of a solid alabaster (calcite) pot in which the pole is fixed. Inscribed on the base are the names and titles of Tutankhamen (given life forever and ever) and the epithet (mry inpw, imy wt: beloved of Anubis who presides over the embalming booth).

·        In very remote times this fetish or emblem belonged to god Imywt, means (he who is in his wrappings) who was eventually identified with Anubis, the jackal god of embalming. It is recorded as early as the 1st dynasty but is best known through its association with Anubis, being depicted in the chapel of Anubis at Deir el-Bahary and elsewhere.

·        An early example, found in 1914 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art near the pyramid of Sesostris I at EL_Lisht, was placed in a wooden shrine. Like the emblems found in Tut's tomb, it consisted of a wooden rod and an alabaster pot, but the headless animal-skin was real and it was stuffed with linen. It was however wrapped in bandages like a mummy with linen pads being placed within the bandages as packing to fill the irregularities between the skin and the rod. The pot was about two thirds full of a blueish – coloured substance, completely dried and considered to be some kind of ointment. From the above-mentioned example, it is easy to deduce how the god acquired the name (he who is in his wrappings).   


The importance of the position of the emblem


The outermost shrine of Tutankhamon seems to be corresponding in style with the pavilion in which the Egyptian kings performed some of the ceremonies of their Heb-Sed (jubilee festivals). These emblems are shown on the monuments in connection with the pavilion. Tut didn't live long enough to celebrate his jubilee but the presence of these emblems would enable him to do so in the next world.

There was a certain ancient ritual known as “passing through the skin” which was one of the ways leading to resurrection. The exact method of performing this ritual is unknown. The dead can return to life through a sacrificed animal whose skin was suspended over a lotiform pole. Thus, the rite or ritual of “passing through the skin” was a passage through death to a new life.

 As a matter of fact, this ritual is closely linked with the Heb Sed in which the renewal is secured by certain steps among, which is the application of ointment and passing through the skin.


2014/04/01

Tutankhamun Footwear

The Footwear or Sandals with Gold Beads of King Tutankhamun


A pair of slippers that is one of many found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. Some of them were never used in the king's lifetime, but this pair appears to have been favored by the king.

The soles of the slippers are made of papyrus leaves covered with sheets of gold while the upper parts are made of variously shaped small gold beads with smaller colored beads.

Tutankhamun Footwear

These differ from the other footwear found in the tomb, which should be classified as sandals, while we can consider these to be slippers.