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AKHENATEN/TUTANKHAMUN

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Author Topic: AKHENATEN/TUTANKHAMUN  (Read 62099 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #1035 on: December 11, 2008, 05:10:12 pm »



Barakat holds up one of the many, huge chunks of glass in the desert








Defence lessons




The more fragile the incoming object, the more likely these airborne explosions are to happen.

In Southeast Asia, John Wasson has unearthed the remains of an event 800,000 years ago that was even more powerful and damaging than the one in the Egyptian desert; one which produced multiple fireballs and left glass over three hundred thousand square miles, with no sign of a crater.

"Within this region, certainly all of the humans would have been killed. There would be no hope for anything to survive," he said.

 
According to Boslough and Wasson, events similar to Tunguska could happen as frequently as every 100 years, and the effect of even a small airburst would be comparable to many Hiroshima bombs.

Attempting to blow up an incoming asteroid, Hollywood style, could well make things worse by increasing the number of devastating airbursts.

"There are hundreds of times more of these smaller asteroids than there are the big ones the astronomers track," said Mark Boslough. "There will be another impact on the earth. It's just a matter of when."







FOR MORE ON 'DESERT GLASS' :



http://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/index.php/topic,1929.0.html
« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 05:37:34 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1036 on: December 20, 2008, 07:44:21 pm »





                                           








Gold Cloisonne Earrings




Like a number of other articles that had been placed in a cartouche-shaped box, these gold earrings were most probably used by Tutankhamun in his lifetime. They show signs of friction, which is only likely to have occurred through use.

In order to attach them to the pierced lobes of the ears, a stud-like clasp was made in two pieces, so that it could be taken apart. Each piece is composed of a short cylindrical tube closed at one end by a gold disk with raised rim, on which is mounted a hemispherical button of transparent glass. When the clasp is closed, one tube fits inside the other.

A portrait of the king, painted behind one button on each earring, is visible through the glass covering. Microscopic examination has suggested that it is not, however, a true painting; it seems to consist of particles of colored glass fused on the underside of the clear glass button. Two pendent uraei attached to the disks flank the portraits.

Suspended on ring eyelets from the clasps are figures of hybrid birds with gold cloisonne bodies and wings of falcons and heads of ducks. The wings curve inwards, meeting at the top to form a complete circle. In their claws the birds hold the shen sign for infinity. The heads are made of translucent blue glass and the bodies and wings are inlaid with quartz, calcite, colored faience, and blue, red, white, and green glass. Pendent extensions from the tails of the birds consist of open-work gold frames encrusted with alternate rows of gold and blue inlay, arranged in a feather pattern, and cylindrical blue and gold beads that terminate in five heads and hoods of uraei.

Earrings, at least for royalty, were a relatively recent innovation at the time of Tutankhamun. Their popularity in the New Kingdom was probably a legacy of the Hyksos invaders who brought them from Western Asia, where they had been in vogue for many centuries. Apart from a very small number that have been ascribed to the Middle Kingdom, the earliest recorded examples in Egypt were found by Sir Flinders Petrie in a tomb at Thebes that he dated to the end of the Seventeenth Dynasty (c. 1570 B.C.).

At first they seem to have been worn chiefly by women, not merely by members of the nobility but also by some of those who served the nobility, such as musicians and dancers. According to one of the Amarna letters, earrings were among the principal items of jewelry brought by a Mitannian princess to Egypt at the time of her marriage to Amenhotpe III (c. 1386-1349 B.C.).

How soon, and to what extent, the custom was adopted by men is uncertain, but the first king whose mummy shows pierced lobes of the ears is Thutmose IV (c. 1419-1386 B.C.). Perhaps it is no more than a coincidence that he was the first Egyptian king to marry a Mitannian princess, because instances of men wearing earrings occur in the wall paintings of at least two Theban tombs that antedate his reign.

 Compared, however, with the countless representations of female wearers of earrings, the number of representations of male wearers is very small and, in the main, confined to young princes. The lobes of the ears of the mummies of several kings, including Sethy I and Ramesses II, were pierced and it must be supposed that at some stage in their lives they wore earrings. Moreover, sculptures of kings from Amenhotpe III and Ramesses II often show pierced lobes.

A possible explanation is that earrings were normally - though not invariably, and particularly not in Amarna times - discarded by boys when they reached manhood. Such an explanation would accord with the fact that, in spite of the profusion of other kinds of jewelry, no earrings were placed on the mummy of Tutankhamun. It would also account for perforations in the ears of the gold mask being covered with gold foil.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 07:49:28 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1037 on: December 20, 2008, 07:51:03 pm »





                                             








Necklace with Lunar Pectoral



Pectorals attached to necklaces and decorated with figures of deities and the symbols that were associated with them formed a high proportion of the jewelry found in Tutankhamun's tomb. In this example the chains of the necklace consist of four rows of spherical and barrel-shaped beads made of gold, lapis lazuli, carnelian, feldspar and resin.

At the top of the necklace is a gold cloisonne counterpoise inlaid with a lotus flower and buds, two poppies, and two rosettes. Ten bead tassels, each ending in a faience corolla, are attached to a gold bar supported by the lotus flower. The clasp consists of a tenon that projects from the left-hand corner of the counterpoise and slides into a mortise in the upper terminal bar of the necklace. The lower terminals, which are joined to the pectoral, bear the king's personal name and his throne name, flanked by uraei with outstretched wings embracing the shen sign.

The pectoral symbolizes the nocturnal journey of the moon across the sky.

At the base is the long, narrow, hieroglyphic sign for the sky, appropriately inlaid with blue lapis lazuli. Beneath it are fringelike inlays of feldspar and lapis lazuli representing drops of moisture; they are added
to the sky sign in the hieroglyphic writing of words meaning dew and rain. Lotus flowers and buds grow from the celestial waters; the golden bark seems to float above them. This arrangement illustrates the convention regularly adopted by Egyptian artists to show two objects on the same plane when one object was behind another: the farther object was placed above the nearer. In this case the bark must be understood to be floating on top of the sky sign behind the flowers. So that it should be evident that the bark is conveying the moon and not the sun, the crescent is added to the moon's disk, again in accordance with convention. Furthermore, the moon and crescent are made of electrum, a mixture of silver and gold and therefore lighter in color than pure gold or red carnelian, which were the materials normally used in representations of the sun.

The shape of bark itself with its incurved prow and stern is developed from the ancient Nile craft made of stems of papyrus lashed together. The design is the same as that of both the sun's bark and the bark used to convey the dead on funerary voyages to the sanctuary of Osiris at Abydos.

A thin cord, of which traces can be seen at the base of the moon's disk, was used to attach the pectoral to the wearer's clothing in order to keep it in position when worn. Its presence suggests that the necklace, like many of the other objects found in the cartouche-shaped box, was a personal possession worn by the king in his lifetime.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 07:54:34 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1038 on: December 20, 2008, 07:55:54 pm »





                                               








Necklace with Scarab with Falcon Wings Holding Infinity Symbol
 


Concealed beneath the twelfth layer of the linen bandages which enveloped the king's mummy were three necklaces with pendant-pectorals, one lying over the center of the thorax and the others supporting it on the left and right sides.

The middle pectoral bore the Eye of Horus flanked by a vulture and a cobra, the pectoral over the right side of the body was in the form of a falcon with wings curved upwards and a solar disk with uraeus on its head, and the third pectoral was the one shown here. It represents a winged scarab holding in its forelegs the lunar disk and crescent and in its back legs the basin.

Between the scarab and the basin, attached to each of them, are three gold bars.

The whole piece is made of solid gold decorated on the outer surface with cloisonne work of lapis lazuli, carnelian and turquoise colored glass. In the lunar disk alone the gold is alloyed with silver. All the details of the elements in its composition are finely engraved in the gold base on the inner surface.

It is evident that the pectoral represents the throne-name of Tutankhamun, Nebkheperure, but two of its elements are not the regular hieroglyphic signs used for writing the name. The basin (heb) has been substituted for the basket (neb) and the lunar disk and crescent (iah) for the sun's disk (re). In both cases the substitutions can be explained as examples of artist's license, but the basin may have been intended to suggest the idea that the king would live to celebrate many festivals (heb).

Carter thought that the moon's disk was intended to counterbalance the sun's disk of the falcon necklace on the opposite side of the central pectoral. He remarks, however, that all these pectorals showed signs
of friction and it seems unlikely that they would have been worn as a pair by the king during his lifetime, though he may well have worn the individually.

Chains of plaited gold wire connect the pectoral with two inlaid gold lotus flowers and a heart shaped pendant separated by two carnelian beads. The pendant is inlaid with a cartouche bearing the king's name written in the normal manner and two uraei, one on each side of the cartouche. Since the lotus flowers have five holes and the pectoral is provided with a similar number of eyelets at the tops of the wings, it is probable that the suspensory chains were originally intended to consist of five strands of gold beads. The height of the pectoral is 9 cm and the width is 9.5 cm.
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« Reply #1039 on: December 20, 2008, 08:01:13 pm »





                       






                         







Scarab Bracelets
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 08:09:51 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1040 on: January 06, 2009, 01:31:07 pm »




                           


                           Earrings of Unknown Material
 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 01:32:08 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1041 on: January 06, 2009, 01:33:28 pm »




                                           








Chased Gold Falcon Collar with Small Counterpoise


 
An Egyptian mummy was an embalmed body, wrapped according to a prescribed pattern in linen bandages. Protective charms (amulets) were placed between the layers of bandages, so that they lay over the part of the body which they were intended to protect or to assist through the power of magic.

By multiplying the layers of bandages, more and more amulets could be placed directly over any physical member.

Personal possessions, and particularly jewelry, might be included with the amulets.

The bandages of Tutankhamun's mummy enveloped 143 objects - chiefly amulets, such as the chased gold falcon collar with small counterpoise shown above, but also many personal possessions, the fine dagger and sheath lying above the abdomen of the mummy being an outstanding example.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 01:35:11 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1042 on: January 06, 2009, 01:36:13 pm »




                       








Flexible Head Bracelet


 
Thirteen bracelets were placed on the forearms of Tutankhamun's mummy, seven on the right and six on the left. Apart from these thirteen, there were other bracelets among the mummy wrappings and elsewhere in the tomb. This bracelet was placed on the right forearm, near the elbow. It's band is composed of nine rows of gold, faience, and glass beads threaded between six gold spacer bars that resemble the gold beads and keep the nine rows in position. The clasp, which is like a pegged mortise and tenon joint, consists of three members: a hollow bar with a central slot, attached to one end of a gold cloison inlaid with a carnelian udjat eye, a cylindrical tenon that projects from the terminal at the free end of the band and fits into the slot, and a removable gold pin to hold the tenon in the slot. On the back of the cloison there is the inscription "Lord of the Two Lands, image of Ra, Nebkheperura, ruler of order, given life like Ra for ever and ever." The engraver has inverted the signs for the Two Lands. It is exceptional, but not without parallel, to find the epithet "ruler of order" after the king's throne name. Both the eye and the cloison have figures of an uraeus with the double crown at the end opposite to the clasp.
The udjat eye consists of a human eye and eyebrow to which are added the markings on a falcon's head; it is thus symbolical of both Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis, who is represented in human form, and the sky-god named Horus, who is represented either as a falcon or as a man with a falcon's head. The word udjat means "sound, healthy" and it was used by the ancient Egyptians as a name for the eye that Horus had lost when fighting with the god Seth to avenge the murder of Osiris. According to the myth, Seth tore the eye into fragments, but Thoth, the god of writing, wisdom, and magic, found the fragments and put them together. He restored the eye to health by spitting on it and then gave it back to Horus, and he, in turn, gave it back to life.

Filial piety was one of the virtues symbolized by the udjat eye: it could serve as a substitute for any of the offerings that an eldest son was supposed to provide daily at the tomb of his father. It was also thought to be a potent amulet against sickness and to be capable of restoring the dead to life, as it had done for Osiris. Both the right and left eyes are represented in the udjat form, but the right is more common, perhaps through the influence of another myth, according to which the sun was the right, and the moon the left eye of the sky-god; the sun was regarded as the more powerful. With the exception of the scarab, the udjat was the most popular amulet in ancient Egypt.
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« Reply #1043 on: January 06, 2009, 01:38:30 pm »




                                     








Falcon Pectoral
 


A problem that must have perplexed the Egyptians in remote antiquity was how the sun traveled across the sky each day.

In prehistoric times the sun-cult had been adopted by a number of the scattered communities settled along the banks of the Nile, and different ideas had evolved to account for the daily phenomenon. After the unification of the country under one ruler - an event that marked both the beginning of the historical period and the foundation of the First Dynasty in about 3100 B.C. - the ideas conceived by the priests of the solar cult at Heliopolis began to gain wider recognition.

Not many centuries later, the Heliopolitan creed became the state religion. In reaching that position it had not required the suppression of other cults, but it had absorbed some of their beliefs and conceptions and, in particular, some of the ideas that had been developed by other solar cults. These extraneous ideas were not allowed to supersede or supplant those that already existed in their creed; they merely supplemented them, even though they were sometimes difficult to reconcile with them. Such was the case with their ideas about the passage of the sun across the sky.

According to one school of thought, the sun-god, when he emerged each morning from the underworld, entered his bark "of millions of years" and, accompanied by his divine retinue, ferried across the sky until he reached the western horizon and re-entered the underworld.

A more picturesque explanation of the daily crossing represented the power that propelled the sun as a large scarab beetle, the concept having been suggested by the common spectacle of the scarab pushing its ball of dung along the ground. Yet another explanation arose from the fact that, apart from the celestial bodies, the only creatures that could support themselves in the air were those provided with wings, in particular birds.

A sun-god who was worshipped in many localities was called Horus, a name that means "Lofty". From very early times he was thought to be a falcon, probably because of its habit of flying high in the air. When he was identified with Ra, the sun-god of Heliopolis, he became a composite god named Ra-Harakhty, but retained his falcon form.

It is in that form that the sun-god is represented on his pectoral. The materials used in the inlay are lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian, and light blue glass, with perhaps obsidian for the eye. On the underside, which has four rings for suspension chains, the details of the bird are  chased in the surface of the gold. Held in each talon are the signs for life and infinity.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 01:40:44 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1044 on: January 06, 2009, 01:49:16 pm »





                                              








Five Gold Rings



From the Middle Kingdom until the latter half of the Eighteenth Dynasty finger rings consisted generally of a loop of cord or metal and a swivel bezel, often a scarab, that revolved on the loop. Rings with the loop and bezel in one piece, made of metal, semiprecious stones, or faience, were uncommon until the Amarna Period, when they seem to have become fashionable. Fifteen rings, some with swivel bezels, were found on Tutankhamun's mummy, but only two were actually placed on his fingers; the remainder were bound in the linen wrappings, five over the right wrist and eight beside the left wrist. In addition, eight rings, which the ancient robbers had inadvertently left in the tomb wrapped in a piece of linen, were found in a gilded chest in the antechamber, where they had no doubt been placed by the necropolis staff. Five of these twenty-three rings are illustrated here; they are all made of gold and in every case the bezel is in the form of either a single or a double cartouche.






(Top to bottom)



(a) A bipartite ring; the two hollow loops with lily-form terminals are soldered together at the bezels only. Each bezel is decorated in openwork with a figure standing on the basket hieroglyph neb, which is often used to fill the oval base of a cartouche. On the left bezel the figure represents the king presenting an offering. The offering is received by the falcon-headed sun-god, Ra-Harakhty, shown in the right cartouche wearing the sun's disk and uraeus and holding the was scepter in his right hand and the ankh sign in his left. On the sides of each of the two loops are engraved an udjat eye on one side and a baboon on the other.

(b) One of the two rings found on the king's mummy; it was on the middle finger of his left hand. The bezel is engraved with a figure of the king kneeling and holding in his outstretched hands an image of the goddess Maat, who is represented seated on the neb sign. In her hands she holds the ankh sign. At the top of the cartouche is the protecting falcon holding in each talon the shen symbol.

Maat was the goddess who personified the action of the creator of the universe, Atum, when he established the right order in nature and society. The action depicted on the bezel reproduces an episode in a series of ceremonies performed every morning by the king or by the high priest who deputized for him. It took place in the Temple of Karnak in front of the shrine containing a statue of the god Amun. After opening the door of the shrine and performing some preliminary ceremonies, the king knelt before the statue and offered it an image of Maat, exactly in the manner shown on the bezel. Offerings of food and drink were placed every day before the god, and maat, in the abstract sense of right order, was regarded as divine food. Queen Hatshepsut, who lived more than a century before Tutankhamun, refers to Amun in an inscription at Beni Hasan in these words: "I magnified maat that he [Amun] loves, for I know that he lives on it."

In his field notes, Howard Carter made the following comment on this ring: "A magnificent specimen of goldsmith's work. The face is an absolute portrait of the king, showing extraordinary affinity to Akhenaton."

(c) Massive gold ring with hoop and bezel cast in one piece. The seated figure on the bezel represents the god Amun, or Amen-Ra as he is called in the hieroglyphic inscription in front of his crown. In his right hand he holds the ankh sign and in his left the was scepter. He wears on his head his regular headdress consisting of a close-fitting cap surmounted by two plumes and the sun's disk.

Amun, whose name means "the one who is hidden," first achieved prominence in the Twelfth Dynasty, four of whose kings were called by the name Amenemhat, which means "Amun is foremost." His cult was brought to Thebes from Hermopolis, in middle Egypt, where he had been worshipped since early times. In the Eighteenth Dynasty Amun gained real ascendancy over the other major gods and became the official state god. The powerful sun-god Ra of Heliopolis became associated with him at Thebes under the name Amen-Ra and Thebes itself was called Heliopolis of Upper Egypt. Tutankhamun's predecessor, Akhenaton, suppressed his cult, together with the cults of all the other gods except that of the sun's disk, Aton, but Tutankhamun restored Amun to his former preeminence and reopened the temples of the other gods.

(d) The right-hand cartouche contains the king's throne name, Nebkheperura, and the left-hand cartouche his original personal name, Tutankhaton. The change to Tutankhamun was made in about his ninth year when he was crowned by the priests of Amen-Ra at Karnak. By making this change the king formally detached himself from the cult of Aton and declared his adherence to the cult of Amun.

(e) The seated figure in the cartouche of this massive gold ring represents the falcon-headed god, Ra-Harakhty, whose name, which means Ra-Horus of the Horizon, is written in hieroglyphics in front of him. He holds the same insignia as in the ring at the top of the illustration. The sun's disk with uraeus, above his head, is also a feature common to both rings and a regular element in his iconography. Engraved on the loop, near the bezel, are the king's throne name on one side and his personal name on the other side. On the side of the throne is the heraldic device to commemorate the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt.

Since remote antiquity the center of the sun-cult had been located at Heliopolis, near the modern city of Cairo. It was there that the sun-god Ra had his sanctuary. Horus was the deity personified by the Upper Egyptian kings who conquered Lower Egypt, where Heliopolis was situated, at the beginning of the historical period.

For political reasons it was necessary to unify the cults of the two gods, with the result that the composite god, Ra-Harakhty, came into being. The geographical proximity of the new capital, Memphis, to Heliopolis, together with the religious link that had been created, enabled the priests of Heliopolis to exercise their influence over the crown.

However, when in the Eighteenth Dynasty the capital was established at Thebes, four hundred miles to the south, and Amun was recognized as the state god, Heliopolitan influence inevitably diminished.

Probably in order to restore some of the god's lost prestige, Amenhotpe III and his son, Amenhotpe IV, before he moved the capital to Amarna and adopted the name Akhenaton, built sanctuaries at Karnak to Ra-Harakhty, and his name was expanded to "Ra-Harakhty lives, rejoicing in the horizon, in his name the sun-light-which-is-Aton."

Soon after its earliest occurrence, this name was divided into two parts, both written in cartouches like royal names in order to show that Amenhotpe IV regarded him as the divine king, although the epithet "King of the Gods" had long been borne by Amen-Ra. His "reign," such as it was, did not last for more than a few years, although Ra himself survived because he was regarded by Akhenaton as the ancient god in whom the true god, Aton, had always existed.

Tutankhamun's accession to the throne, followed by his revival of the old cults, restored Ra-Harakhty to the position he had occupied in the Egyptian pantheon before the time of Amenhotpe IV.
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« Reply #1045 on: January 09, 2009, 09:41:30 pm »

   



                       








                                                  Heart Scarab





A special kind of scarab, known as a heart scarab, was placed in the wrappings of Egyptian mummies approximately over the heart. It was larger than the scarabs worn as seals or as amulets by living people, and it was generally made of stone, as decreed by the Book of the Dead, which also ordained that it should be put in a gold setting. Tutankhamun's heart scarab, which was suspended from his neck on a strap of gold wire, was placed near the navel. It was made of black resin mounted on an inscribed gold plate with a cylindrical eyelet at the head end for the suspension strap. A figure of a heron (Ardea cinerea or Ardea purpurea) in polychrome glass was inlaid on the back of the beetle.

As a rule, the main purpose of a heart scarab was to prevent the heart, which the ancient Egyptians regarded as the seat of intelligence, from giving evidence against the deceased owner in his judgment before Osiris. It was generally inscribed with a spell from the Book of the Dead (Chapter 30 B) and it was from the words in the spell that part of its magical power was thought to be derived. Tutankhamun's scarab bore a different inscription, which will be described, and in that respect it was not typical. But a heart scarab was not intended solely for use on Judgment Day. It was the symbol of the creative power of the sun-god and, through that power, it was supposed to restore life to the heart of the dead person. Furthermore, in the hieroglyphic script, the word meaning "transformation, metamorphosis" was written with the scarab sign, and the heart scarab was believed to provide the deceased with the means to transform himself into one of the various living creatures, which included the heron, enumerated in the transformation spells of the Book of the Dead (Chapters 76-88). Tutankhamun's heart scarab, with its inlaid figure of a heron, was evidently designed to fulfill that function, in particular, through the normal processes of imitative magic. No copy of the Book of the Dead was placed in Tutankhamun's tomb, although some excerpts from it were inscribed on the walls of the gilded shrines that protected his body.

The heron or, to give it its Egyptian name, the benu bird, was deified in very early times, probably because of its habit of wading in shallow waters when the Nile was receding after the annual inundation. It was the first living creature to stand on the muddy soil each year, surrounded by water before the flood had completely subsided. In such a setting it reminded the early Egyptians of the initial stage in the Creation, when life first emerged from the waters of chaos, and it supplied them with a concrete image that symbolized the first act of creation. The benu, in consequence, acquired the epithet "He who comes to life through himself," or the self-generating. Tutankhamun, through his heart scarab, not only possessed the ability to transform himself into a benu, but was also able to regenerate himself at will.

In historical times the center of the benu cult was at Heliopolis, which was also the center of the more powerful sun cult of Ra, whose priesthood could not recognize the existence of any deity earlier than their own. The difficulty was overcome by postulating that the benu was simply a form assumed by Atum or Ra from the time of the Creation onwards, and a similar explanation was later adopted by the adherents of the Osirian cult. It was this external manifestation that was called by the Egyptians the ba. Tutankhamun, by the very fact that he had been transformed into a benu, became the ba of the sun-god, and of Osiris, too, and it is in that capacity that he represents himself in the inscription engraved on the gold plate beneath the scarab. It reads: "Words spoken by the Osiris, king Nebkheperura, true of voice, 'I am the benu, the ba of Ra, who leads the blessed dead to the Underworld, who causes their bas to go forth on earth to do whatever their kas wish.' [So saith] the Osiris, the Son of Ra of his own body, Tutankhamun, Ruler of Heliopolis of Upper Egypt, true of voice." The ka has been defined as a person's "self", his individuality, but it is, like ba, a word that has many different shades of meaning.

The value of the heart scarab lay not in its material or in its artistic qualities, though the heron is exquisite, but in its magical properties. For Tutankhamun it was perhaps the most important of all his amulets.
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« Reply #1046 on: January 09, 2009, 09:48:09 pm »





                                                








                                                  Tutankhamun's 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). 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.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 09:50:16 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1047 on: January 09, 2009, 09:52:14 pm »



                                             








                                                      Squatting Figure of a King






In the absence of a written attribution, it is not possible to identify with certainty the king whom this little solid gold figure represents. Howard Carter, whose opinion has been generally accepted, thought it was a statuette of Amenhotpe III (c. 1386-1349 B.C.). His identification was based on the circumstances of the discovery. It was placed, wrapped in linen, in a small gilded coffin, and with it were two smaller coffins, one fitting inside the other, the innermost of which not only bore the name of Amenhotpe III's wife, Queen Teye, but also contained a lock of her auburn hair. Carter supposed that the figure and the lock of hair were buried with Tutankhamun as heirlooms, because he was the last direct successor of Amenhotpe III.
Carter's theory, however, seems to attach too little importance to the evidence offered by the inscriptions on both the coffin within which the figure was placed and an outermost coffin of wood coated with black resin. In both the king named is Tutankhamun himself; no mention of Amenhotpe III occurs on any item in the equipment. It appears more probable, therefore, that the figure represents Tutankhamun. Some support for this identification may be gained from the fact that the lobes of the ears are pierced for earrings, a feature that is rare in representations of kings before Akhenaton.

Nothing in the king's dress or accouterments is indicative of the purpose of the figure. It is obvious, however, that it was intended to be worn as a pendant. On his head is the khepresh crown with erect cobra, or uraeus, a royal headdress that was worn in many different circumstances: in battle, in religious and secular ceremonies, and in private life. Apart from the headdress, he wears only a glass bead necklace and a kilt with the regular apron in front. In his right hand he holds the crook and flail, symbols of his title to the throne of Osiris; his left hand rests on his knee. At the back of the neck is a loop for the gold suspension chain, shown with the figure. Instead of a clasp, linen cords with tassels were attached to the chain for fastening the necklace.

Egyptian kings and nobles are often shown on monuments wearing necklaces with pendants, but as a rule the pendants have an amuletic character. A squatting king is exceptional iconographically and its underlying conception is not obvious. At first sight the pose suggests that the king is represented as the infant sun-god emerging from the flower of the lotus that grew in the primordial waters at the time of the creation of the universe. But the lotus was a vital element in the portrayal of that episode and it would certainly not have been omitted by the artist if his intention had been to commemorate it. Furthermore the king, although young in appearance (as would be expected in a representation of Tutankhamun) is clearly not a newborn child.

Artistic convention for many centuries before the time of Tutankhamun had decreed that kings, unless they were engaged in one of the recognized royal activities such as hunting, warfare, or religious ceremonies, should be portrayed either standing or seated on the throne. Even before the end of Amenhotpe III's reign, however, conventional styles were undergoing notable changes and the process developed into a revolution under Tutankhamun's predecessor, Akhenaton. In a restrained form some of the innovations of the Amarna period were continued by Tutankhamun. This figure may well owe its inspirations to the new school and may possess no particular symbolical significance.



http://www.touregypt.net/cgi-bin/ksearch/ksearch.cgi?terms=The%20Tutankhamun%20Collection&display=25&p=2&showm=5&b=1&t=1&d=1&sort=Matches  #31
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 10:02:43 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1048 on: January 16, 2009, 09:01:32 pm »





                                               








                                                                Djed Pillar






Many theories have been advanced in an endeavor to explain what the symbol known as the djed pillar represents.

It has been regarded as a combination of the four pillars that the Egyptians believed supported the four corners of the earth, as a tree with lopped branches, and as a human spinal column.

The view most generally held at present is that it depicts a bundle of stalks tied together.

Its origin, however, was forgotten by later Egyptians and it was though to be the backbone of the god Osiris. This was the interpretation that seems to have been universally accepted in the time of Tutan-
khamun.

In remote antiquity the djed pillar was a fetish with a cult of its own. Priests of the cult still functioned in the Old Kingdom, or at least bore the appropriate titles. The center of the cult may at first have been situated at Busiris or at Mendes, in the Nile Delta, but by the Old Kingdom it had a sanctuary at Memphis where its independent existence was soon lost and it was absorbed by the powerful cult of the local god, Ptah, an event commemorated by the inclusion of the djed pillar among the emblems mounted at the head of that god's scepter.

A more important legacy of the ancient cult was a ceremony, known as Raising the Djed Pillar, which took place at Memphis on the eve of the coronation of Egyptian kings and at their jubilee festivals. In that ceremony the king, aided by a number of priests, raised a djed pillar from the ground with ropes and placed it in an erect position.

The significance of the ceremony is partly explained by the meaning of the  word djed, "stability" or "duration," the concept being that the king and his kingdom gained stability and duration from the performance of the ceremony. But it also symbolized the revival of the kingship after it had "died" with the demise of its previous holder.

Revival after death and the whole conception of resurrection were closely bound up with the cult of Osiris and it is not surprising that the emblem which represented that conception should have been adopted, not later than the beginning of the New Kingdom, by the adherents of the Osirian cult.

The djed pillar soon became one of the most common amulets to be placed on mummies.

A spell in the Book of the Dead (Chapter 155) was devoted to it and the words of the spell were engraved on one of two djed amulets found on the mummy of Tutankhamun. It reads

"Thou hast thy backbone, O weary one of heart;
thou shalt place thyself upon thy side so that I may give thee water beneath thee[?].
I have brought thee a djed pillar of gold;
mayest thou be pleased with it."

According to the instruction that is appended to the spell in the Book of the Dead, the djed pillar should be made of gold and be placed on the neck of the deceased on the day of his funeral.

Both of Tutankhamun's djed amulets, suspended on gold wire necklaces, lay over his throat. The inscribed amulet, which is illustrated here, is completely overlaid with gold, so that the material used for its core cannot be seen. In addition to the spell, it is inscribed on the front with his throne name written, as usual within a cartouche.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 09:48:25 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1049 on: January 24, 2009, 11:09:14 am »




                       








Floral Collar of Faience Beads


 
This collar consists of several rows of faience beads. While the technique of making faience had been in existence long before Tutankhamun came to the throne, it was only in the reign of his predecessor, Akhenaten, that these brightly colored collars imitating floral garlands first came into extensive use. Each row represents a particular fruit or berry, a petal, or a leaf.
Cornflower, lotus, and mandrake were among the flowers, and olive and willow were the trees whose leaves the Egyptians of the New Kingdom regularly used for their garlands. The berries were usually from the nightshade plant. P.E. Newberry, one of Carter's associates, was able to determine the season in which Tutankhamun was buried based on the growing seasons of the plants used in the king's garlands. According to Newberry, the burial occurred from the middle of March to the end of April. One of the many garlands placed around the third, or innermost, coffin consisted of both real flowers and glass beads. other collars made completely of faience beads were found on the mummy, and still others were strewn about the various chambers of the tomb.

Made of ground quartzite combined with an element for pigmentation, the faience beads could be shaped by hand or cast in a mold. They were then dried and fired, producing a hard, porcelain-like finish. The white glaze of the terminals illustrated here contains an elaborate design consisting of several rows of floral petals, flowers, and fruit. Five flexible strands of beads, each ending in a blossom, are suspended from the terminals.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 11:11:00 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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