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AKHENATEN/TUTANKHAMUN

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Author Topic: AKHENATEN/TUTANKHAMUN  (Read 61185 times)
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« Reply #1020 on: December 06, 2008, 05:29:31 pm »



SYMBOLS OF POWER:
TUTANKHAMUN'S CROOK AND FLAIL
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« Reply #1021 on: December 09, 2008, 07:23:59 am »









Two Circlets



Both these circlets were found in a badly damaged condition in the chamber that Carter called the annex.

(Top) When complete, this circlet consisted of two rows of beads, one above the other; the lower row is missing, with the exception of one lotus-flower terminal next to the clasp. The surviving row is composed of black and white cylindrical beads, threaded alternately on a hoop made of either bronze or copper. Carter thought the black beads, which are inlaid with diamond-shaped insets of gold, were made of a highly polished resinous substance, but it has since been suggested that the material is glass or obsidian. The white beads are made of alabaster, inlaid with quartz or transparent glass backed with a red pigment. The lotus-shaped terminals of cloisonne-work are attached to the damaged parts of a gold clasp. A convex connecting link of gold on the underside (not visible in the photograph) probably fitted into a corresponding socket in the lower row and it may have been matched by a similar link on the opposite side, of which nothing has been preserved.

(Bottom) In shape and in material the beads in this circlet resemble those in the first circlet, but the triangular pattern of the inlay is different. It has only one row of beads and a gold terminal next to the broken sliding clasp. The hoop, again made of bronze or copper, was cast in two semicircular pieces; the connecting link at the end opposite the clasp is now missing.

While the term circlet describes the shape of these two objects, it does not define their function, which still remains uncertain. Carter tentatively called them by the Arabic word aqal - the name of the headband in Arab dress - and expressed the opinion that they might be some form of headdress. Circlets were undoubtedly worn on occasion by ancient Egyptian men and women, both for confining the hair and for purposes of adornment, but they were not used for keeping a linen headdress in position like the aqal. One authority has suggested that they were bracelets and another that they were collars. At present, no final solution to the problem seems possible, but the fact that the double circlet was found in a box made for storing a wig lends support to Carter's conjecture.
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« Reply #1022 on: December 09, 2008, 07:39:59 am »










Ivory and Stone Bracelets



Both these pieces were regarded as anklets by Carter, but it seems more probable that they were bracelets. Flexible bead anklets fastened by ties or clasps were worn by women from predynastic times onwards and, exceptionally, by men as early as the Twelfth Dynasty. Rigid anklets, made of two hinged plates of metal, were a much later innovation; they were worn in the New Kingdom by both men and women. The two kinds of anklets, flexible and hinged, are generally indistinguishable from bracelets; identification is only possible when they are found in situ on a body. Such evidence is not available in the case of these rings; both were found in the annex and not on the mummy. Size and the fact that each was made in one piece strongly suggest that they were bracelets; the stone example, moreover, belongs to a well-known type.
In design and decoration the style of these bracelets is simple without being plain. The ivory ring on the left has a fluted exterior surface and a triangular profile; on both sides the pattern is broken by an inset bronze or copper plate inscribed in gold and fixed with rivets. On one side the inscription gives Tutankhamun's throne name, Nebkheperura, followed by the epithet "ruler of order." It is a less common epithet than "ruler of Heliopolis of Upper Egypt" and its meaning is that his kingdom conformed with the order prescribed by the gods. On the other side, the plate bears the king's throne and personal names, with the appropriate titles, and a heraldic device consisting of the king in the form of a sphinx trampling underfoot an Asiatic enemy. Behind the sphinx stands the lioness-headed goddess Sekhmet protecting the sphinx with her outspread wings, between which are the hieroglyphic symbols ankh and shen.

The stone ring on the right, which is made of fine quality crystalline limestone, was found broken. Its bulbous outer surface has a narrow flange at both edges. Along the central axis is inset a row of small diamond-shaped pieces of lapis lazuli bordered by gold wire. It has no symbolism or other evidence of its royal ownership. The type, known by the name mesketu, is mentioned in historical texts and made of gold, it was one of the pieces of jewelry given to soldiers and officials as a reward for distinguished services.
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« Reply #1023 on: December 09, 2008, 07:42:46 am »









Openwork Gold Buckle



The adoption of the horse drawn chariot by the Egyptians, some two hundred years before the time of Tutankhamun, not only changed the character of their methods of both hunting and warfare, but also gave artists an opportunity to introduce a greater element of liveliness and movement into their representations of some of the royal activities. Even the peace-loving Akhenaton and his queen, Nefertiti, are frequently shown in the wall reliefs of the tombs of the high officials at Armana riding in chariots followed by their daughters, also in chariots, each chariot drawn by a pair of richly caparisoned, lively steeds. Tutankhamun is portrayed on his painted casket both hunting and fighting in chariots, and again on the pal of his fan, shooting ostriches from his chariot and returning from the hunt. The conception of the king as a dashing warrior and a huntsman was an innovation of the Eighteenth Dynasty and the image was maintained as an artistic convention whether or not it corresponded with reality in the case of a particular king.

On this openwork gold buckle Tutankhamun is shown riding in his chariot, ostensibly returning from fighting against the Asiatics and the Nubians. Two captives, one from each enemy, are being driven in front of the chariot harried by the king's hound. They are bound together by the stems of a papyrus and a lily. It is simply a heraldic device, without foundation in historical fact, for there is no evidence that Tutankhamun took part in any military exploit. Moreover, as the Asiatics occupied the territory northeast of Egypt, and Nubia lay to the south, it would have been geographically impossible to wage war against both these enemies in a single campaign. The heraldic nature of the representation is further emphasized by all the other elements in the composition: the protecting vulture of the goddess Nekhbet of Upper Egypt hovering above the king and extending towards him the sign of life, (or ankh); the winged cobra-goddess Wadjet of Lower Egypt behind him embracing with its wings the oval ring, or cartouche, bearing his throne name, Nebkheperura; and to the left of Wadjet, the cluster of papyrus growing in a swamp, also symbolizing Lower Egypt. In the bow-shaped field at the base of the buckle the same general idea is represented by somewhat different symbols. In the center is the hieroglyphic sign for "unification" (sema); bound to it by the stems of a papyrus and a lotus flower are a bearded Asiatic and a Nubian captive. Flanking the group, on the right, is the lily of Upper Egypt and, on the left, the papyrus, with two buds, of Lower Egypt. An approximate interpretation of the two scenes would be that Tutankhamun, protected by the goddesses Nekhbet and Wadjet and supported by the people of Upper and Lower Egypt, will vanquish all his enemies.

The king is clad in a long pleated robe, similar in appearance to the robe in which he is depicted on the pal of the fan when returning from the ostrich hunt. In actual hunting he wore a leopard skin corselet and a kilt with ornamental apron. He holds in each hand a pair of reins and also a bow in his left hand and a whip in his right, both objects represented in such a way that they do not conceal any part of the king's arms or hands. The case for the bow is attached to the outer side of the chariot and the quiver, with arrows projecting above it, is suspended from Tutankhamun's girdle. The chariot itself is a light vehicle, lighter than the four state chariots found in the antechamber of Tuankhamun's tomb, but apparently not unlike the two chariots whose dismembered elements had been placed in the treasury of the tomb. The horses have hogged manes and their headstalls are decked with ostrich plumes, sun's disks, and streamers, but the artist has failed to show any connection between the reins and the bit. A conspicuous feature of the harness and housing of the only horse that can be completely seen is the edging in fine gold applied granules. The same kind of decoration has also been used on the king's wig and collar, the chariot, and the collar of the hound.

The sheet gold of which this buckle is made shows the same rose pink color as some of the gold beads in the necklace from the gold mask. In this instance some of the film appears to have been deliberately removed, but it is also possible that it failed to adhere to the surface through some fault in its application.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 07:44:22 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1024 on: December 09, 2008, 07:45:50 am »










Pendant Depicting the Solar Beetle Flanked by Baboons



Like many of the items in Tutankhamun's tomb, this intricately designed pendant reflects aspects of the traditional religion that the young king restored. It was found in a box in the Treasury with other similar objects, probably all of which were originally from the king's personal collection of jewelry.

The central motif depicts the rising of the sun. The scarab beetle, who sustains its young from the ball of dung it carries, was associated in Egyptian mythology with the sun, as the means by which it crosses the heaven every day. Here, the golden beetle, inlaid with lapis lazuli, is in the bark of the sun, holding the solar disk in its front legs and the shen hieroglyph ("infinity") in its hind legs.

The hieroglyph pet ("sky") above is fashioned of lapis lazuli and inlaid with fourteen golden stars; the water below is lapis lazuli inlaid with golden waves. On either side is the hieroglyph was ("dominion").

The scarab is accompanied by two baboons, animals frequently associated with the rising sun. Moreover, the god Thoth, who is often represented in the form of a baboon, usually accompanies the sun in the bark. Upon the baboons' heads are the lunar disk and crescent. The two are seated on the roof of a golden shrine, worshipping the sun as it rises.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 07:47:19 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1025 on: December 09, 2008, 07:48:52 am »










Bracelet with Scarabs and Netjer-ankh Holding the Symbols of Infinity



Flexible scarab bracelet from the right arm of the king's mummy.

The various elements of the design spell out the king's prenomen,



                                                         Nebkheprure.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 07:51:22 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1026 on: December 09, 2008, 07:52:25 am »










Composite Udjat Eye Pectoral



In this pectoral, which was found in a layer of wrapping, the eye is flanked by the cobra-goddess, Wadjet, wearing the crown of Lower Egypt, and the vulture of Nekhbet wearing the atef crown, as the representative goddess of Upper Egypt. The crown does not accord with the symbolism, because it combines heraldic elements that signify rulership of both Upper and Lower Egypt, but the vulture was depicted wearing it so often that its unsuitability in the present context would certainly not strike the eye.

The whole ensemble is made of gold and inlaid for the most part with polychrome glass interspersed with some carnelian and lapis lazuli. A pale green stone used for the space between the eye and the eyebrow, as well as the white of the eye, has not been identified, but seemed to Carter to be a kind of quartz. The gold mount at the base is inlaid with carnelian and polychrome glass imitating turquoise and lapis lazuli.

A triple string necklace of red and blue faience and gold beads connects the pectoral with a gold inlaid counterpoise, which hung below the nape of the neck. Like the pectoral, the counterpoise consists of three symbols mounted on a gold bar. Two of the symbols are djed pillars, and the third, placed between them, is the so-called girdle of Isis. What the symbol represents is uncertain; perhaps it consists of the same elements as the ankh sign, but differently arranged.

As a rule it is made of red jasper (or glass) and that is the material presupposed in the spell for the girdle in the Book of the Dead (Chapter 156), which concludes with the words



"To be uttered over a girdle of red jasper...which has been put on the neck of the

deceased on the day of his funeral. He for whom this is done shall have the magic

power of Isis as a protection for his body, and Horus, the son of Isis, shall rejoice

over him when he sees him."
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« Reply #1027 on: December 09, 2008, 08:02:23 am »

         








Rigid Udjat Eye Bracelet



The central feature of this bracelet is an udjat eye. It is made of two pieces of electrum of unequal width: a front plate bearing the representation of the eye inlaid partly with lapis lazuli and partly with dark blue glass, the pupil being obsidian, and a narrower wrist strap. The two pieces are connected, at one end, by a hinge with a fixed pin and, at the other end, by a clasp that resembles the hinge in construction, but has a removable pin with a projecting eyelet at the base. This bracelet was placed immediately beneath the flexible bracelet on the right forearm of Tutankhamun's mummy.
Perhaps in order to avoid an abrupt transition in width, the artist who designed the bracelet adopted a device found in other bracelets. At each end of the strap is a V-shaped floral motif consisting of an open poppy flanked by two lotus buds. The stems of the flowers are tied by a gold band at the base so that the entire cluster is equal in width at the top to the plate and at the bottom to the strap. The petals of the poppy are represented in translucent quartz painted red underneath; the buds are made of blue glass. The strap is divided into rectangular compartments, some of which are inlaid with colored glass, quartz painted like the poppy petals, and resin; the intervening spaces are decorated with triangular designs in granular work.

Much of Tutankhamun's jewelry is adorned with minute grains of gold applied to a background of the same metal by, it is now believed, a process known as colloidal hard soldering. By this process the grains were first stuck to the background by an adhesive consisting probably of powdered malachite mixed with gum and the whole piece was then subjected to carefully regulated heat until only the copper in the malachite of the adhesive remained un-vaporized. At that stage the heat was slightly increased, and the gold in contact with the copper melted, producing a firmly welded join. Granular decoration had been used by Egyptian jewelers for centuries before the time of Tutankhamun.
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« Reply #1028 on: December 09, 2008, 08:04:15 am »










Vulture Pendant



The innermost layers of Tutankhamun's mummy wrappings contained his personal possessions.

This necklace was suspended from his neck in the eleventh or twelfth layer, close to the mummy, and therefore very probably it was a piece that he had worn during his lifetime.

The pendant consist of a representation of the vulture-goddess of Upper Egypt, Nekhbet, with the outer ends of the wings folded downwards resembling a cloak.

It is made of solid gold encrusted on the obverse with blue glass, apart from the lesser coverts of the wings, which are encrusted with red glass edged with green, and the tips of the tail feathers, which are also encrusted with red glass. In its talons it holds the hieroglyphic shen sign, inlaid with carnelian and blue glass. The gold head, turned sideways, and the neck are delicately rendered in a most realistic manner, the effect being heightened by the wrinkled occiput, the obsidian eyes, and the lapis lazuli beak. On the chased reverse a miniature necklace and pendant are modeled in high relief.

The pendant is composed of the king's cartouche surmounted by the sun's disk and ostrich plumes, flanked by two uraei. Fastenings for the suspension chains are attached to the upper edges of the wings.
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« Reply #1029 on: December 11, 2008, 04:30:35 pm »





                            







Pectoral of Kheper Scarab



On this pectoral, the outer face is inlaid with colored glass and semi-precious stones, the reverse with chased decoration. The motif of the scarab pushing solar disc has been elaborated to form the king's prenomen, Nebkheprure.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 04:33:15 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1030 on: December 11, 2008, 04:34:54 pm »





                       








Human-headed Winged Cobra



This figure of a winged cobra with human head was placed over the neck of the king's mummy, in the fifth group of amulets. It is made of sheet gold, embossed and chased. At the back is an eyelet so that it could be suspended from a linen-thread necklace.

A number of Egyptian goddesses, such as Wadjet, Meretseger, Werethekau, and Renenutet, were sometimes represented as winged serpents, but only Meretseger seems to be shown with a human head. She was the tutelary deity of the Theban necropolis, where Tutankhamun's tomb lay. Her presence among the other head and neck amulets in the group would, however, be hard to understand. Furthermore, she was a late creation, whereas the other deities, whose figures were used as amulets on the king's mummy, had belonged to the Egyptian pantheon since ancient times. Carter, in his slip catalogue of the objects found in the tomb, was unable to suggest any identification and merely wrote "significance unknown."

Although the precise identification of the figure remains problematical, some evidence of its associations seems to be offered by the other amulets in its group. These amulets consist of five vultures, an erect cobra, or uraeus, and a pair of similar cobras joined together. The Middle Kingdom coffins generally depict, on the wall opposite the head of the deceased occupant, five vultures and five cobras, the latter usually represented erect, but one or more may be represented in repose. The correspondence in the number of vultures suggests that there should also have been five cobras on the neck of the mummy. The human-headed winged cobra could be the fourth cobra, and the cobra in repose might be the fifth, assuming that it was misplaced by the embalmers. The texts on the coffins say that these vultures and cobras are to be put on the head of the dead person, but they do not mention their purpose. Perhaps they were intended to be protectors of the five royal names.
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« Reply #1031 on: December 11, 2008, 04:44:28 pm »




                                            








Gold Bangle with Openwork Scarab Encrusted with Lapis Lazuli




The small circumference of this bracelet suggests that it was made for Tutankhamun when he was a child. Nevertheless, it agrees very closely in size with the bracelets that were placed on the forearms of his mummy and were though by Carter to have been worn by the king in his lifetime. It was found in the cartouche-shaped box that contained several other objects, including the fine pair of earrings which also seem to have been personal possessions.
The bracelet's central feature is a gold openwork scarab encrusted with lapis lazuli. On each side is a narrow raised band composed of gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise, quartz, and carnelian inlay, bordered on the inner edge with gold granules. The bands are continued on the back of the hoop. Two identical botanical ornaments flank the scarab, each consisting of a mandrake fruit supported by two poppy buds, with gold marguerites filling the interstices between the stems of the mandrake and the buds. The yellow and green colors of the mandrakes are painted at the back of the translucent quartz inlay. Both the hinge and the fastening are made of interlocking cylindrical teeth held together by long gold pins, the hinge pin being fixed and the other movable.

The ancient Egyptians adopted the scarab (Ateuchus sacer) as a symbol of the sun-god because they were familiar with the sight of the beetle rolling a ball of dung on the ground and this action suggested to them that the invisible power that rolled the sun daily across the sky could be represented pictorially as a scarab. Moreover, they had noticed that the young beetle emerged from a ball of dung by what they imagined to be an autogenic process, so that a further parallel was seen between this creature and the sun-god, who was also credited with having created himself. In reality the ball of dung rolled by the scarab is only a reserve supply of food that it hides in a convenient crevice, whereas the ball containing the egg is pear-shaped and is never moved from the burrow in which it is placed by the female. In the Egyptian language the words for the scarab and for existence were identical (kheper), and the name of the sun-god, on his first appearance every morning, was Khopri. In hieroglyphic writing the scarab sign was used for all three words.

In spite of black being the color of the scarab in nature, the Egyptians seldom copied it in their reproductions, perhaps because there was no native semi-precious stone of that color, and obsidian was not easily obtainable. Quite exceptionally, however, two scarabs placed on Tutankhamun's mummy were made of black resin. Glazed specimens were usually green or light blue, and it is clear that no importance was attached to reproducing an exact likeness of the living beetle. Lapis lazuli, the material used for most of the scarabs in Tutankhamun's collection of jewelry, has not been found in Egypt, the nearest source know at present being Badakhshan in the northeast of Afghanistan.
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« Reply #1032 on: December 11, 2008, 04:52:52 pm »




                        








Pectoral with Solar and Lunar Emblems



The central motif in this gold cloisonne pectoral is a scarab of translucent greenish yellow chalcedony that serves as the body of a falcon with wings outstretched. It has the forelegs of a scarab and falcon's legs of gold. In both talons it grasps the hieroglyphic sign shen and in one an open lily, in the other a lotus flower and buds. Bordering this motif on each side is a cobra with the sun's disk on its head and a long tail extending upwards to form an outer frame for the tops of the falcon wings. A band of blue and red disks stretches from one cobra to the other beneath the winged scarab.

In Egyptian symbolism the sun-god could be represented both as a scarab and as a falcon. Composite forms of two related symbols were common in Egyptian iconography as a way of indicating two originally separate conceptions that had been fused in the course of time.

The designer of this pectoral, having produced a twofold symbol of the sun, repeated the technique, but less effectively, in the case of the moon. Above the winged scarab, supported by its front legs and the tips of its wings, is a gold bark, its hull inlaid in the center with turquoise. That it is the bark of the moon is shown by the left "Eye of Horus," which was one of the symbols of the moon. Two cobras with sun's disks flank the eye, perhaps as symbols of Upper and Lower Egypt, on both of which the moon shines. The eye alone would have been enough to indicate that the bark belonged to the moon, but the artist has added to it the disk and crescent of the moon. The disk is appropriately made of silver, and applied to its surface are small golden figures of the ibis-headed moon-god Thoth, the king, and Ra-Harakhty. Thoth and the king wear the moon's disk and crescent and Ra-Harakhty wears the sun's disk with uraeus.

As a kind of fringe at the base of the pectoral are the blue lotus flowers, complex buds, and papyrus flowers projecting from poppy buds, all separated at the point where the stem joins the flower or the bud by roundels of concentric circles.

This pectoral is inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli, calcite, obsidian (?), turquoise, and red, blue, green, black and white glass.



http://touregypt.net/museum/tutc.htm
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« Reply #1033 on: December 11, 2008, 04:59:16 pm »





               

                Thing of beauty:

                Tutankhamun's Pectoral with desert glass scarab









                        T U T A N K H A M U N ' S   G E M   H I N T S   A T   S P A C E   I M P A C T






19 July 2006,
BBC NEWS

In 1996 in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Italian mineralogist Vincenzo de Michele spotted an unusual yellow-green gem in the middle of one of Tutankhamun's necklaces.

The jewel was tested and found to be glass, but intriguingly it is older than the earliest Egyptian civilisation.

Working with Egyptian geologist Aly Barakat, they traced its origins to unexplained chunks of glass found scattered in the sand in a remote region of the Sahara Desert.

But the glass is itself a scientific enigma. How did it get to be there and who or what made it?

The BBC Horizon programme has reported an extraordinary new theory linking Tutankhamun's gem with a meteor.






Sky of fire



An Austrian astrochemist Christian Koeberl had established that the glass had been formed at a temperature so hot that there could be only one known cause: a meteorite impacting with Earth. And yet there were no signs of a suitable impact crater, even in satellite images.

American geophysicist John Wasson is another scientist interested in the origins of the glass. He suggested a solution that came directly from the forests of Siberia.

"When the thought came to me that it required a hot sky, I thought immediately of the Tunguska event," he told Horizon.

In 1908, a massive explosion flattened 80 million trees in Tunguska, Siberia.

Although there was no sign of a meteorite impact, scientists now think an extraterrestrial object of some kind must have exploded above Tunguska. Wasson wondered if a similar aerial burst could have produced enough heat to turn the ground to glass in the Egyptian desert.
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« Reply #1034 on: December 11, 2008, 05:07:19 pm »



Boslough's specialism is modelling large impacts








Jupiter clue



The first atomic bomb detonation, at the Trinity site in New Mexico in 1945, created a thin layer of glass on the sand. But the area of glass in the Egyptian desert is vastly bigger.

Whatever happened in Egypt must have been much more powerful than an atomic bomb.

 

A natural airburst of that magnitude was unheard of until, in 1994, scientists watched as comet Shoemaker-Levy collided with Jupiter. It exploded in the Jovian atmosphere, and the Hubble telescope recorded the largest incandescent fireball ever witnessed rising over Jupiter's horizon.

Mark Boslough, who specialises in modelling large impacts on supercomputers, created a simulation of a similar impact on Earth.

The simulation revealed that an impactor could indeed generate a blistering atmospheric fireball, creating surface temperatures of 1,800C, and leaving behind a field of glass.

"What I want to emphasise is that it is hugely bigger in energy than the atomic tests," said Boslough. "Ten thousand times more powerful."
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