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jewelry glossary

Antieke juwelen glossarium
(verklarende woordenlijst)

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King Tut-Ankh-Amun

Howard Carter, Supervisor of Excavations funded by Lord Carnarvon in Thebes, had ambitious goals. He researched and found the name, King Tutankhamun. Carter searched the Valley of the Kings looking for the pharaoh that had seemed to escape time. Season after season Carter was not able to find the tomb of this young king. When Lord Carnarvon decided to sponsor the season dig for one last time, within three days of the season, a step was unearthed and revealed. November 1922, the discovery of the century was a fact: "The tomb of King Tutankhamun".

King Tut-Ankh-Amun, original name TUTANKHATEN (fl. 14th century BC), king of Egypt (reigned 1333-23 BC)

During his reign, powerful advisers restored the traditional religion and art style after the death of Akhenaton, who had led the "Amarna revolution." During his ninth year the Egyptians marched into Syria to assist Egypt's old ally, the Mitannian kingdom of northern Syria, which was embroiled in hostilities with vassals of the Hittites. As reinforcements sent by the Hittite king hastened to aid his vassals, Tutankhamen unexpectedly died, aged about 18 years.

Some time after his death, Tutankhamen's tomb in western Thebes (not his original, which Ay, his successor, had appropriated for himself) was entered twice unsuccessfully by plunderers. The burial chamber was not entered and remained intact until it was discovered and excavated by Howard Carter.

When in the 19th dynasty the "Amarna kings" of whom Tutankhamen belonged to, were stricken from the royal lists and publicly condemned, the location of Tutankhamen's tomb was forgotten, and his relatively few monuments were usurped, chiefly by his former general, Horemheb, who later became pharaoh.

In the 20th dynasty, when the tomb of Ramses VI was cut immediately above that of Tutankhamen, the stone rubble dumped down the side of the valley covered the young king's tomb with a deep layer of chips. The workers of the 20th dynasty came close to Tutankhamen's tomb and clearly had no knowledge of it. The tomb escaped the great series of robberies at the end of the 20th dynasty and was preserved until a systematic search of the Valley of the Kings revealed its location.

Inside his small tomb, the king's mummy lay within a nest of three coffins, the innermost of solid gold and the two outer ones of gold hammered over wooden frames. On the king's head was a magnificent golden portrait mask, and numerous pieces of jewelry and amulets lay upon the mummy and in its wrappings. The coffins and stone sarcophagus were surrounded by four shrines of hammered gold over wood, covered with texts, which practically filled the burial chamber. The other rooms were crammed with furniture, statuary, clothes, a chariot, weapons, staffs, and numerous other objects. But for his tomb, Tutankhamen had little claim to fame; as it is, he is perhaps better known than any of his longer lived and better documented predecessors and successors.

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