© Griffith Institute, Oxford OX1 2LG
Concept and direction: Jaromir Malek
The journal has been scanned with the financial support of the Manchester Ancient Egypt Society
[Note: all dates have been standardized.]
Transcript: Sue Hutchison
Editing: Ana I. Navajas Jimenez and Jaromir Malek
Scanning: Hana Navrátilová
Image editing: Jenni Navratil
Concept and direction: Jaromir Malek
The journal has been scanned with the financial support of the Manchester Ancient Egypt Society
[Note: all dates have been standardized.]
Text crossed through by Carter himself has not been included.
The transcript presented here has been only very slightly edited, for example by correcting misspellings and eliminating duplication or omission of words. For easier reading, such cases are not marked but scans of the pages of these diaries will be available here soon and may be consulted for details.
Lucas to come up either with me on Tuesday (6th) or the following Friday.
Called upon Bedawi Pasha at the P.W.D. He was away at Alex.
Have been pestered by correspondents of local and foreign papers who always more than one can tell. They complain that the proposed daily or weekly bulletin (as laid down in the agreement to be issued by the Press Bureau) will not suffice their wants - they want private interviews and personal details. This is interesting, in so far that under the original regime they, one and all, complain that it was not done through the Press Bureau, and now that they have got this they do not want it! All this makes me begin to fear that this season's campaign will not be an easy one from that point of view. However, my one hope is that I am allowed to carry out the investigation in a proper & scientific manner and the work not jeopardised by Press & other curious onlookers.
Saw Lucas. We inspected the Tut.ankh.Amen exhibits in the Museum, from the point of view of preservation. I think possibly there is a tendency of the throne darkening a little and we decided that late next spring we would treat it with wax which ought not only to brighten it up, but also help to make a permanent preservative.
I was horrified to find that the silver stick (fellow to the gold stick), now exhibited flat, in one of the glass show cases, was broken in two. This, I was told, was done by one of the European officials when showing it to M. Capart of the Brussels Museum. It seems a shame after all the trouble in preserving those precious objects and safely transporting them to the Museum, that they should be allowed to be handled by persons that do not know how to handle antiquities.
Arranged for motor car to be sent to Luxor on Monday (5th).
Received a note from C.C. Edgar to say that: "Lacau has just cabled to say that it is necessary that he should be present at the opening of the mummy and that he will be Luxor by the 10th of Nov." - for examination without ceremony". - trusting that this delay will not inconvenience ...." me, etc.
Here is another delay for my work! One thing I can get along with something else in the meantime. Must arrange for Derry & Saleh Bey to defer their coming until then.
Note I think to cover the matter of Eg. papers and photos that would be supplied at least a mail later than the European papers - this to prevent any encroachment of copyright in the way of sale on their part of any of the photos issued to them.
Saw the Chief Inspector Luxor - Tewfik Eff. Boulos - re work & light. Saw Moawen of Police - the Bey the Marmur being absent on leave.
Put house in order & made up outstanding a/cs with men.
Upon starting a new season's work there is always a lot to do preparing for the proposed expedition. The first few days are mostly employed in getting ready and putting in order various instruments and impedimenta for scientific work. All of which have to be tested. To start work under circumstances so different to those in Europe, and where many simple appliances and facilities cannot be obtained, much prearrangement and consideration is required - mostly in simplifying one's requirements, or adapting the materials available. Even with material one has especially ordered from England or elsewhere, when examined on the spot, often you find that it proves a little too large or small as the case may be, or that it has to be got into working order as well as the men taught how to use it - a tedious and what appears a waste of time before one can start upon the interesting part of the work of an archaeologist. It is thus one spends the first few days in preparation for a new season's work, only brightened by the smiles upon the faces of the Reises when they first realize the use & advantage of some new gadget to help them in the forthcoming work.
Shaban Effendi arrived at Valley.
Sent the chauffeur into Luxor to put in order the old car of past season's, ready for sale, I having purchased and brought with me a new car, for fear the old one would not carry through the season.
It will be interesting to see what effect the odours and insecticide such as coarse petroleum sprinkled in both the tomb and the laboratory before closing last year will have had upon the various insectivore that had infected the tomb and lab. when open during the past seasons.
Though there were a few traces of those fish-like insects that eat materials like paper, the insectides seem to have had good effect - and the tomb practically free of these pests.
The 2000 candle power electric lamps over the sarcophagus were turned on, the modern pall removed, exposing, under the glass the great gold incised coffin within the sarcophagus - a sight which seems each time even more emotional. Tewfik Effendi, Shaban Effendi, Lucas and the Reises were present. Finding everything in perfect order I reclosed the gates & opened the laboratory which has been protected by a heavy wooden screen exactly fitting the rock cut opening. This wooden screen removed we unlocked the steel gates and entered. Here everything was also free from dust & insects and in good order.
The rest of the morning spent in getting various things ready to begin work tomorrow (13th).
Thus the Valley, screaming with workmen these last two days, has, until the winter migrants come, its normal sepulchral once again.
Upon careful inspection of the coffin as it rested in the sarcophagus, it was decided that the four original bronze handles (two on each side) were sufficiently well preserved to support the weight of the lid of the coffin and therefore could be utilized in raising it, that is if it were possible to remove the bronze pins by which it was fixed to the shell of the coffin.
The lid was fixed to the shell by means of ten bronze tongues securely riveted to the lid and fitted into corresponding sockets in the thickness of the wooden sides of the shell - four on each side, one at the head, and one at the foot-end - where they were held in place by the above mentioned metal pins.
As the coffin occupied nearly the whole of the interior of the sarcophagus, leaving only a small space all round, especially at the head & foot ends, the space available for extracting the pins was very limited, but by careful manipulation it was found that they could be withdrawn without much difficulty, with the exception of the pin of the head end where there was only space enough to pull it half out and therefore had to be sawn (filed) through before the inner half could be withdrawn.
Having extracted the ten pins, the next procedure was to place in position the necessary hoisting tackle. This consisted of two sets of three sheaf pulley-blocks, provided with automatic brakes, and fixed to an overhead scaffold. The pulleys being so hung as to come immediately above the centre of the lid opposite each pair of handles. The pulleys were then attached to the handles of the lid by means of strong cord slings - the coffin being protected from possible damage by pads of wadding. The tackle being in position, by midday the lid was very slowly raised. It came up fairly readily without mishap, revealing a second anthropoid coffin, covered with a thin gossamer linen sheet darkened and decayed, upon which were lying over the breast of the coffin floral garlands and a separate wreath of flowers placed on the emblems of the forehead over the linen.
Underneath this thin linen sheet or shroud, in places a glimpse could be obtained of elaborate multi-coloured glass inlay upon fine gold work.
This was carried out by myself in the presence of Mr A. Lucas and the assistance of the native Reises. The undertaking was completed by 12.45, the tomb closed to await photographic records before proceeding further. Some time was spent last summer working out the methods to be followed in the above undertaking and providing the necessary appliances.
The only ominous feature is that parts of the second coffin visible through the linen covering, show distinct efflorescence incrusted upon the inlay and surface gold-work and tendency of swelling here and there. This is certainly disconcerting, as it suggests at some time the existence of humidity, possibly from the mummy of the king, wrapped and placed in the coffin before being perfectly dry. If this is the case its preservation will, I fear, not be so good as might have been hoped for.
I expect Mr. Harry Burton to arrive tomorrow, when he will undertake to make photographic records of the second coffin, before anything is touched.
Burton arrived 11.30am.
Lucas commenced upon the preservation work of the lid of the first (outermost) coffin.
I made notes in preparation for continuing the opening of the coffin the moment Burton has made his records.
Tewfik Effendi Boulos visited the work this morning. He mentioned he would like to be present when I raised the lid of the second coffin.
He also mentioned that Shaban Effendi was under the belief and instructions that the coffins were not to be opened until Lacau came. I explained that this was a misunderstanding, and that referred to the examinations of the royal mummy. That I was obliged to open the cases first & would stop the moment the mummy was discovered and that was in accordance to our conversation with Edgar in Cairo.
The remainder of Burton's photographic materials arrived this morning in the Valley.
Tewfik Effendi asked for a Bulletin.
As it was impossible to deal in any way with the inner second coffin on account of the depth of the sarcophagus, the next procedure manifestly was to raise the outer shell and (second) coffin together. This was done by fixing slings attached to overhead pulleys which were again fastened to steel pins passed through the slots from which the ancient bronze pins had been withdrawn.
In spite of the coffins proving to be an enormous weight - far more than at first seemed possible - they were successfully hoistered to just above the level of the top of the sarcophagus, when wooden planks already prepared were slid under them. In the confined space and with the restricted head room available the task proved one of no little difficulty, which was much increased by the necessity of avoiding damage to the fragile gesso-gilt surfaces of the coffins, which naturally would not stand any undue pressure.
After taking away the various hoisting gear, I carefully removed the wreath and garlands and was able to roll back the covering shroud. This revealed the finest example of the ancient coffin makers' art that has yet been seen - again Osiride in form, but so delicate in conception and in beautiful line. In fact, as it now lies in the outer shell upon the modern trestles it is a wonderful picture of majesty lying in state.
The wreath and garlands that were placed upon the shroud are an early illustration of Pliny's account of ancient wreaths, and when one examines how carefully and precise they are made - now unfortunately much decayed - they suggest that wreath and garland making was in those days a particular trade.
Girgis Eff. Elias, Inspector of Antiquities of Luxor and Keneh, Mr A. Lucas, Mr. H. Burton and the Egyptian Reises assisted in this undertaking. Before closing the tomb for the day Mr Burton made a series of photos as the monument now stands.
Mr Lucas in the meantime is continuing his work of preserving the lid of the outermost coffin.
Yesterday and today have been spent on that sole question - how to remove that very closely fitting coffin from the outer shell without injuring the very delicate inlaid surfaces, that have already suffered from humidity? Humidity either from the royal mummy or the wood imprisoned in all probability at the time of the burial - a condition which becomes more marked as each covering is removed.
H.E. and Madam Ahmed Bey Saddik, Mudir of Keneh, with their friends visited the tomb this morning.
Without some experience of handling heavy and yet fragile antiquities under very difficult circumstances, few can realize that nerve racking undertaking and responsibility. The raising of a lid of a coffin or lifting the coffin itself seems a comparatively simple job; but when one realizes that it is deep down in the interior of a sarcophagus where it fits quite closely, that it is in a very fragile condition, that it is immensely heavy, that the overhead room in the chamber is very limited, and that one does not even know whether its wood is sufficiently well preserved to bear its own weight, the reader will perhaps begin to realize what an anxious work it really is.
After consultation with one's colleagues and careful consideration, a plan of action is formed, you begin to carry it out - probably the preparation of which has taken several days, special appliances are devised, and as far as it is humanly possible you have taken every precaution. Everything goes well until suddenly, in the middle of the process, you hear a crack - little pieces of surface ornament fall clink clink on the floor of the sarcophagus or chamber - the only space available is now crowded with your men, and in a moment you have to discover what is happening - what is the trouble, and what immediate action is required to prevent a catastrophe. The reader will perhaps realize that strain upon the nerves.
Again, the interest of seeing some fresh and beautiful object exposed as a lid is being raised will often distract your workmen, for a moment they forget their duty and irreparable damage may be done.
Such is more than often an archaeologist's lot, and afterwards he is asked what were his sensations when so and so was first discovered!
Continued preparations in the tomb, but must wait until the necessary screweyes have arrived from Cairo.
To remove the second coffin from the shell of the outer coffin into which it fitted very closely, some points of attachment for raising it were manifestly required, and in the absence of handles, such as were found on the outer coffin, it was judged best to make use of, if it were possible, the metal (bronze) pins by which the coffin & lid were fastened down. On inspection it was found that although the space between the two coffins was not sufficient to allow of the pins being entirely withdrawn, they could be pulled out sufficient distance (about 1/4 of an inch) to permit wire attachments being fixed to them and to the overhead scaffold, which was accordingly carried out. Strong metal eyelets were screwed into the thickness of the top edge of the shell of the outer coffin, so as to enable it, without damage, to be lowered from the second coffin by means of ropes working on pulleys. The necessary preparations being made the next stage of the work will take place tomorrow. A good deal of the delay these last few days has been owing to special material having to be obtained from Cairo.
The afore mentioned arrangements being complete we were able to proceed with the next stage. This was the reverse of what might at first sight appear to be the natural order of things, the outer shell being lowered from the second coffin, instead of the latter (the second coffin) being lifted out of it, for reasons already explained; namely: the head room was insufficient. The operation proved very successful, the shell of the outer coffin was lowered once more into the sarcophagus, leaving the second coffin suspended for a few moments in mid-air by means of ten copper wire attachments already mentioned. A wooden tray sufficiently large to span the opening of the sarcophagus was then passed under it, and on this it now firmly rests. The overhead tackle being removed photographs were then taken and we were able to direct our energies to the raising of its lid.
The coffin like the lid proved to be elaborately inlaid with multi-coloured glass and gold 'cloisonnes' upon gesso. The entire inlay being in a very fragile condition handling, therefore, had to be avoided if possible. For this reason in order, therefore, to lift the lid without damaging its encrustation, metal eyelets were screwed into it at four points (where it would not be disfigured). To these eyelets sufficiently strong cord was attached and by means of overhead pulleys the lid was slowly raised - its bronze pins or rivets having been already extracted.
Though there was a slight inclination at first for it to stick, it gradually rose and when sufficiently high to clear the contents of the coffin it was lowered onto a wooden tray all ready to receive it at the side.
The removal of the lid revealed yet a third coffin, manifestly anthropoid in form, but the main details of which are hidden by a close fitting reddish coloured linen shroud, apparently well preserved. The gold mask of the face in this case was bare, the features being even more juvenile than heretofore. Placed over the breast of the coffin and attached to the headdress was an elaborate bead and floral collarette upon papyrus, several inches in depth.
Both operations were carried out by 12.45pm; in the presence of Tewfik Eff. Boulos, Chief Inspector of Antiquities for Upper Egypt, Mohamed Effendi Shaban, and Girgis Effendi Elias, Inspector of Luxor and Keneh. Messrs. Lucas and Burton, together with the Egyptian Reises and men assisted.
It was not until these photographic records were made, was I able to remove the linen covering and inspect for the first time the coffin itself. The removal of the coverings was a simple operation as compared to others we have had to face, but it disclosed an astonishing fact - namely that the third coffin is made of solid gold. This accounts for the great weight which has been a source of surprise since the nest of coffins was first lifted out from the sarcophagus, and which diminished so little even when we had removed the outer coffin and the lid of the second coffin; and even at this stage it is as much as eight strong men can lift. The coffin (for the third time) proves to be in the likeness of the king symbolizing Osiris, enveloped in the wings of Nekhbet and Buto. The main portion of the lid - that is the lower part such as the legs - is beautifully chased and engraved, while the neck, breast and two protective goddesses are inlaid with carved semi-precious stones, but the most part of the detail is hidden by a black lustrous coating due to pouring over the coffin a libation of great quantity. As a result this unparallelled monument (coffin) is stuck fast to the interior of the second coffin - the consolidated material of the libation filling up the space between the two coffins almost to the level of the lid of the third one. To extricate this third coffin will be a very tedious and arduous task.
Through the black coating one is able to see that the parts of the design over the breast and body are raised and comprise a heavy auxiliary overlay of gold. A new feature in the coffin is the presence of two moveable massive gold and faience necklaces fixed to the throat of the King.
The libation referred to is doubtless the principal cause of the signs of humidity encountered in the various outer coffins already dealt with. Again the covering cloth & floral collarette had likewise suffered, and though appeared to be in fair condition they were found to be so brittle that their material broke to the touch.
It will be seen that our next problem, which is by no means an easy one, is to remove the third coffin firmly cemented by the libation to the interior of the second coffin without causing damage to either. To this subject and that of the future cleaning of the coffin, Lucas is now giving his attention.
The weight of the two was as much as eight men could lift. Now if one allows for the gold coffin only 100 lbs per man that would make it some 800 lbs in weight. 20 troy lbs of legal gold = 934 sovs. x 40 = 37,360 sovs. It is almost unbelievable when one thinks and realizes that in the discovery of this unique and wonderful monument - a coffin of the finest art wrought in solid gold - that the above cannot be far wrong of the value of pure bullion of which it is made.
Lucas was occupied on cleaning and waxing the lid of the second coffin.
It was found that the lid of the third coffin was pinned to its shell in the same manner as the other two coffins - namely by means of ten (gold) pins which cannot possibly be extracted as the coffin now stands. The oily or fatty substance of the libation, probably mixed with a wood pitch, was found to be still viscid under the surface, where it is in fairly large quantity. An electrical soldering iron pierced it fairly easily and made it bubble into a viscous mass where the heat affected it.
It was decided that before any expedient was contemplated, the surfaces of the shell of the second coffin should be thoroughly preserved and strengthened so as to protect it from any damage with dealing with the third coffin.
Paid men for the week.
In those days, the above amount of gold must have been fabulous wealth to people like stone cutters, artisans, peasants and water carriers such as were the eight men implicated in the robbery of the tomb of King Sebekemsaf and his queen Nubkhas, which occurred among other robberies in the reign of Ramses IX (B.C. 1142-1123) and recorded in a fragment of a document now known as the Amherst Papyrus.
It is with interest to note that those ancients had in the case of the gold coffin used real stones in the place of glass imitation such as was the case in the Middle Kingdom.
The pitch-like material with which the space between the second and third coffins had been flooded, causing them to adhere to one another, was made a subject of experiments. It was found that it could be melted by heat and dissolved by certain solvents, but neither of these methods were practical under the existing circumstances. It was decided therefore that the best plan of attack was, if possible to raise the lid, remove the contents, before applying any such drastic methods.
Fortunately the line of junction of the lid and the coffin was visible and accessible, although with difficulty, all round excepting at the extreme foot-end where the two coffins practically touched one another. This joint was therefore thoroughly inspected in order to discover how the two parts (lid & shell) were attached, and it was found that this attachment was by means of eight tongues (four on each side) fixed in position by metal pins. It was evident therefore that if the pins could be extracted the lid could be raised.
In the confined space between the two coffins ordinary instruments for extracting the metal pins were useless and others had to be improvised. Long screw-drivers were converted into curved levers and it was found possible to insert these under the heads of the metal pins, and gradually work them out. This proved a very difficult and tedious operation, taking several hours, but eventually it was crowned with success and without injury either to the (third) coffin or the shell of the second coffin. The pins removed the lid was raised. The penultimate scene was disclosed - a very neatly wrapped mummy of the young king, with golden mask of sad but tranquil expression, symbolizing Osiris. The similitude of the youthful Tut-ankh-Amen, until now known only by name, amid that sepulchral silence, made us realize the past. By this bespangled mummy as it lies in the coffin, he must have been a tall youth - from the top of the headdress of the mask to the feet it measures 6 feet. Attached to the throat of the golden mask, beautifully wrought with juvenile countenance, are three massive gold & faience necklaces, a pendent heart-scarab placed between the hands, crossed over the breast, which hold the flail and the crook. Below this mask, which reaches as far as the hands, is the linen covering and outer bandages, strapped in place by broad longitudinal and transverse flexible bands of inlaid gold work depending from a highly decorative encrusted gold protective figure of Nekhbet. She has full spread wings reached across the body and a human head.
From the hands downwards the royal mummy has been covered by a libation, which has darkened the linen and hidden the detail of the inlaid gold bands which bear texts edged with rows of beads. From this libation, as well as from that poured on the exterior of the coffin, has emanated humidity which has been the cause of certain deterioration.
In detail the mummy is wrapped to represent Osiris, the mask bears that god's attributes, but the likeness is that of Tut.ankh.Amen - placid and beautiful, with the same features as we find upon his statues and coffins. The mask has fallen slightly back, thus its gaze is straight up to the heavens.
The face, headdress and collarette are of massive sheet gold. Eyes of aragonite, pupils of obsidian, eyelids and eyebrows of lapis lazuli.
The symbols, the uraeus (Buto) and the vulture (Nekhbet), of Upper and Lower Egypt, upon the forehead are also of massive gold inlaid with semi-precious stone and glass.
The conventional Osiride head of gold inlaid with lapis lazuli in pleated pattern.
The three necklaces which are attached to the neck of by means of solar serpent fastenings are of different coloured gold beads divided at intervals with faience beads.
The scarab carved out of some black material (not yet recognised) is also attached to the throat by means of long flexible bands of inlaid gold work bordered with beads.
The collarette, with hawk-head clasps at each shoulder is of sheet gold incrusted with inlaid stones representing beads and pendants.
The closed hands, which appear to be sewn to the linen wrapping, are separate to the mask. They are, like the flesh of the face, of burnished gold, and have bracelets of inlaid stone upon the wrists. They hold the crook and the flail made of some (?) composition decayed from action of humidity.
Below, over the body and legs of the King, are four transverse and three longitudinal (one down the centre & one on each side) bands of flexible gold work bearing inlaid inscriptions bordered with gold beads. These straps or bands are dependent from the hands and in the centre of the body a beautiful winged goddess Nekhbet having a human male head, and body and claws of a vulture.
Unfortunately the fine detailed workmanship of the goddess and bands is hidden under a dark varnish like coating of the pitch-like libation that has been poured over the mummy. I rather fear that this libation has also stuck the mummy to the bottom of the coffin?
Received a visit from Tewfik Eff. Boulos.
Having prepared a suitable wooden tray lined with wadding, I was then able to remove the external trappings comprising longitudinal and transverse bands of flexible gold work finely inlaid with designs and inscriptions that were sewn to the linen covering and bandages. Their threads were much decayed, they had to be removed piecemeal and placed in their exact order upon the tray for future remounting.
The more one examines the external wrappings of the mummy the more evident it becomes that at least the outer bandages are completely deteriorated, one might say carbonized, from the action of the libation that had been poured over it. One's only hope is that we shall find the wrappings in better condition after several thicknesses have been removed?
Lucas continued his reparation work upon the lid of the second coffin.
I then attempted to remove the mummy and mask from the coffin, but found that unfortunately both were stuck fast to the bottom of the coffin, and could not be under the present conditions raised out without using great force, endangering both the royal remains and the finely wrought mask. The libation that was poured over the body had consolidated at the bottom and stuck them fast. My one hope now is that the heat of the sun may soften it sufficiently so as to enable one to gradually free it and raise it. If not, unless some other expedient is discovered, we shall have to make the examination as it lies within the two coffins.
PS. 45,7. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
PS. 92,10. I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
Heb. 1,9. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
IS 61,3. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
Mark 14,8. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
With regard to the libation it would appear from the material that it is composed of - seemingly fatty or oily substance mixed with (?) wood-pitch - that it is more an ointment than a libation. This liquid no doubt was applied in religious ceremony for the consecration of the dead king before appearing before the Great God (Osiris) of the underworld. It is particularly noticeable that on both the third coffin and the mummy the head and feet have been carefully avoided even though the feet of the first coffin were anointed with a similar material.
Remark the episode that occurred "in the house of Simon the leper" when "there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; ... she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying." Mark 14, 1-8.
Cleaned the greater part of the thick coating upon the third coffin.
This was done by means of pulleys attached to the overhead scaffolding and to metal eyelets fixed into the thickness of the upper edges of the coffin. It was then raised sufficiently above the sarcophagus to enable us to pass a wooden tray under it, upon which it was lowered, and then lifted out into the antechamber. It proves to be a great weight, and has suffered considerably from humidity in past ages causing the gold work upon gesso to bulge and become completely detached from the basic wood. Fortunately it can be repaired and made good by careful filling in the interstices with hot paraffin wax.
There remains now but one object to be removed from the sarcophagus, and that is the golden bier - a sort of bed with lions heads and feet standing upon the floor of the sarcophagus - upon which the nest of coffins is rested.
The astonishing fact about this bier, is that it appears to be in perfect
condition, even though it has supported the enormous weight of the nesting
three coffins - as much as fifteen strong men could lift (x) - for over
thirty centuries. I passed stout broad webbing under it - one piece at the
head, another at the foot-end - preparatory to raising it tomorrow.
(x rather more than a ton.)
It proved to be made of stout wood, covered with gesso and gilt with a fine gold foil, standing about 9 inches from the ground. It is curved so as to receive and fit the bottom of the coffin, has at the head end lion's heads, at the foot small lion's tails, & four feet of lion type. The centre part of the bed within the frame work is ornamented to represent a corded mesh.
Though a little bent, the joints are only just visible, which is witness of the quality of timber used and its good joinery when one remembers that it has supported for over thirty centuries more than a ton in weight.
Everything is now ready for the examination of the royal mummy, which I trust will occur early next week.
Beneath the bed-like bier, were a number of wood chips, bearing gold-work upon gesso, that had been hacked off by a very sharp instrument like an adze.
As there are no traces of any parts being cut off from the coffins, these chips, which are fairly large, must come from the innermost shrine which enclosed the sarcophagus. They are again evidence of the careless manner in which the undertakers treated these shrines, mentioned in the preliminary chapters. Besides these there were a lot of old rags and a stout piece of wood evidently used as a lever. Under the head of the bed were fragments of garlands that had fallen from the coffins when lowered into the sarcophagus.
With this last stage of the 'déblaiement' of the tomb of Tut.ankh.Amen, we have an unique example, for the first time, of the funerary customs followed in the burial of one of ancient Egypt's Pharaohs:
First a great outermost shrine, a second shrine over which draped a gold bespangled pall, a third and a fourth innermost shrine, all of which were nested one within the other and sealed, the last enclosing an immense monolithic quartzite sarcophagus. In the sarcophagus, with lid cemented to its bed, a nest of three great anthropoid coffins carved in the likeness of the Osiride King. They rested upon a heavy wood gilt bed-like bier and enclosed the golden masked mummy of the Pharaoh wrapped as though it were that of Osiris himself, over which an anointment for consecration purposes had been poured. Thus there were at least eight enclosures in all, plus the pall over the second shrine and the bier that supported the nest of coffins.
The King during his life was called the 'good god', and it was only after his death that he attains to the higher title the 'great god', and becomes a divinity.
Osiris, the Ruler of the Underworld.
When one alone considers the immense labour of making, carving and gilding all those elaborate shrines, the hewing and transport of that immense quartzite sarcophagus, the moulding, carving, inlaying and goldsmith's work of those magnificent coffins, taking into account the labour and the value of metal therein, one begins to realize the immense cost and trouble that was attached to the burial of a pharaoh. Let alone the excavation of those rock-cut corridors and chambers and all the funeral furniture they contained.
Carpenter & boy came.
" royal mummy for examination.
Lucas completed practically cleaning the lid of coffin (third) no. 255.
Arranged for Lacau, Derry and Saleh Bey - arriving Wednesday 11th.
Herodotus of the latter part of the Vth Century B.C. writes (ii, Chap. 86):
"There are a set of men in Egypt who practise the art of
"embalming, and make it their proper business. These
"persons, when a body is brought to them, show the bearers
"various models of corpses, made in wood, and painted so as
"to resemble nature. The
"most perfect is said to be after the manner of him
"whom I do not think it religious to name in connection
"with such matter"; (no doubt the god of the dead, Osiris)". The second
"is inferior to the first, and less costly; the third is the cheapest
"of all. All this the embalmers explain, and then ask in
"which way it is wished that the corpse should be prepared.
"The bearers tell them, and having concluded their bargain,
"take their departure, while the embalmers, left to themselves,
"proceed to their task".
Referring to the "most perfect process", after recounting their methods of
dealing with the brain and other soft parts of the body, Herodotus says: -
"Then the body is placed in natron, a natural soda from the natron lakes in the Lybian desert, very probably such as the lake of Wâdi Natrûn, for seventy days, and
"covered entirely over. After the expiration of that space of time,
"which must not be exceeded, for risk of the natron eating into the flesh, the body is washed and
"wrapped round, from head to foot, with bandages of fine linen
"cloth, smeared over with gum, which is used generally by the
"Egyptians in place of glue, and in this state it is given
"back to the relations, who enclose it in a wooden case which
"they have had made for the purpose, shaped into the figure
"of a man ..."
At 9.45am H.E. Saleh Enan Pasha, U.S.S. P.W.M.; M. P. Lacau D.G. Depart. Antiq., Dr. D. Derry, Prof. Antq. School of Medc., Kasr El Eini, Cairo; Dr. Saleh Bey Hamdi, formerly Dir. of the same school; H.E. Sayed Fuad Bey El Kholi, Mudir of Keneh; Mr. A. Lucas; Mr. H. Burton; Tewfik Eff. Boulos, Chief, Insp. Up. Eg. for the Antiq. Depart; Mohamed Eff. Shaban, Ass. Cur. Cairo Mus.; Hamed Eff. Sulimann, Tech. Sec. to the U.S.S.; and the Egyptian Staff attached to our expedition; arrived in the Valley of the tombs of the Kings.
As afore mentioned the mummy of the King could not without considerable damage be removed from the coffin, the examination had necessarily to take place as it lay.
In consequence of the fragile and powdery nature of the outer layers of the wrappings, the whole of the exposed surface of the mummy except the mask, was painted over with melted paraffin wax of such a temperature that it chiefly congealed as a thin coating on the surface and did not penetrate the decayed wrappings more than a very short distance.
As soon as the wax had cooled, Dr. Derry made a longitudinal incision down the centre of the outer wrappings to just below the depth to which the wax had penetrated, thus enabling the consolidated outer layers of the wrappings to be removed in large pieces. The under bandages which were very voluminous were found to be equally decayed and fragile, in fact, as it eventually proved the deeper and nearer the body, the worse the condition.
C and D
Almost immediately below the outer crust of decayed wrappings, were found, in the left flank, two sheet gold amulets (C. bracer D. oval plaque). After removing the outer layer of wrappings, it was still found impossible to withdraw the mummy from the mask & coffin, the pitch-like material having collected in large quantity underneath.
It was decided therefore to remove layer by layer the remainder of the wrappings. Here & there where the linen was slightly better preserved it was possible to recognise that the work of binding was as usually practised upon mummies of the New Empire. Here & there were a number of lightly wrapped pads of linen, beyond these facts, little else could be recognised, the linen being reduced to the consistency of soot.
As the operation progressed the following objects in layers were gradually exposed: -
E to H
Sometimes an object was partly included in several layers of lower linen bandages.
High up upon the breast, immediately below the collarette of the mask, and superimposed upon one another, were the following: amuletic ornaments of chased sheet gold: (E) vulture, (F) vulture & serpent, (G) the serpent Buto, (H) collarette, one above the other in the order mentioned.
Just below the knees there was a group (I) of numerous segments of a large inlaid gold collarette, which had been doubled up - its segments one upon the other - the inlay of which was much deteriorated and partly fallen out. These latter were removed after photographic records of them 'in situ' had been made.
Further layers of wrappings still in bad condition were removed, which exposed another group of objects: (J) Seven sections of a long inlaid gold ornament such as are depicted on the front of the skirt of a pharaoh. This extended from above the pubis to the knees. (K) A highly ornamented gold dagger with crystal knob, lying along the right thigh. (L) A narrow band of decorated sheet gold around the waist, similar to those depicted on the monuments. (M) A T-shaped amulet of sheet gold, lying over the abdomen & reaching down to the pubis. (N) A large gold inlaid bracelet, open, lying over upper part of left thigh. (O) A (?) object of gold and beadwork, at slightly lower level, over left side of abdomen. This being in fragile condition was consolidated with melted paraffin wax. (P) A large amuletic chased sheet gold hawk with outspread wings, stretching over the upper part of abdomen - (this was several layers of cloth bandages below, E. F. G. and H.). (Q) Lying over the umbilicus and pendent from the upper part of the body by means of a gold wire, was a large (?) black resin scarab. (R) A solid gold uraeus (Buto) along the left thigh. (S) The head and neck of a gold vulture (Nekhbet), on the right thigh. Note orientation N. & S. of the body.
At this stage photographic records were again taken.
When (J) was removed, it was seen that underneath was a layer of bandage of corresponding length and width. Also under (J) was the remainder of (I), which was again photographed.
Under group E. F. G.and H., higher up and under the mask, apparently covering the face, was a fifth amulet (T) a hawk of chased sheet gold, similar in type and belonging to that group, but not visible in the photographic records taken today, it being completely hidden by the collarette of the mask.
This was as far as we were able to proceed today. After the final photos were made, all objects mentioned, with exception of the remainder of group (I) and (T), were removed preparatory to the continuation of the proceedings on the following day.
The bracelet (N).
Gradually, as the work proceeds, one is able to detect among these objects, that which is purely religious and amuletic and that which was real and personal property. For instance in all probability the uraeus (R), the vulture head (S), the dagger (K), the bracelet (N), and possibly the collarette (I), are more personal than the series of sheet gold objects of amuletic type above mentioned. They are magnificent, but this is not the moment to describe them. Their description, piece by piece, will come in due course.
It is to be much regretted that the wrappings were found in such critical condition - a condition preventing any reliable record of them, even their approximate system of binding.
It is to be regretted that the wrappings were in such dreadful condition - a condition preventing any reliable record of even their approximate binding.
Note orientation of certain objects such the vulture head and uraeus.
The proceedings recommenced 8.15am by Mr Burton taking further records - duplicating yesterday afternoon's photographs - as we had decided to reverse the position of the coffin on account of the light.
Further layers of decayed wrappings were carefully removed from the lower part of the mummy which revealed the following named objects: -
(U) A gold inlaid circlet, lying over the umbilicus.
(V) A similar gold circlet, above the right knee.
(W) " " " " " " left ".
(X) A massive bracelet of gold and carnelian, on the right forearm near the elbow (this will be referred to again in later stage with a group of similar objects).
(Y) Mingled with the two circlets V and W were parts of necklace composed of faience and gold beads.
At this stage photographic records were again taken, and various objects already mentioned were removed.
(Z) A large hawk (?) plaque, comprising numerous sections of finely inlaid gold-work, connected by small beadwork between the separate sections, and acting like hinges. This was lying over the chest apparently just below the neck, and was covered with a plain sheet of papyrus. As both the incrustation and the beadwork were in bad condition they were coated with melted paraffin wax to consolidate them.
(AA) Lying over the front of the thighs was a collarette formed of similar workmanships and segments as group (I). This being also in fragile condition it was similarly treated with wax.
(BB) A mesh of gold and other beads of various forms lying over the pubis. These were so mixed up and their strings decayed, for the moment it is not possible to recognize their significance. With these beads were further portions of (O). To reconstruct these bead-work objects will be a difficult, if not impossible, task - not merely on account of the threads which have decayed, but also the jumbled manner in which they occurred. They were treated with paraffin wax with the hope of preserving some kind of record of their order of threading.
(CC) Just below (BB) was a gold circlet corresponding to (U, V, and W.)
(DD) Resting on the front of the abdomen was a finely inlaid filigree gold dagger. This lay in a diagonal position, with the top towards right and the bottom point to the left. When removed this dagger proved of much heavier and elaborate workmanship than the previous one discovered yesterday.
(EE) A girdle of sheet gold, similar to (L), in probability belonging to the dagger (DD). It was fastened by a small golden pin. This girdle and its dagger, were several layers of wrappings lower than the former girdle & dagger afore mentioned.
At this stage of the proceedings a set of photographic records were taken to show the relative positions of the objects.
These objects being safely recorded and removed, further layers of wrappings over this part of the mummy were removed, thus exposing: -
(FF) A group of five massive rings of various designs and materials. They were lying in a small group on the lower part of the left thorax, and probably belong to that hand. They are of very fine workmanship and are respectively composed of lapis lazuli coloured (?) faience, gold, translucent green chalcedony and milky coloured chalcedony. Their designs were of double cartouches, solar bark, and scarab type.
(GG) An amuletic chased sheet gold collarette lying over the upper part of the chest, under (Z).
(HH) Lying just below the collarette (GG) was a group of three amuletic bracelets bearing amulets of obscure meaning. With them was a portion of a bead necklace, the remainder of which has not been uncovered.
(JJ) Lying about the centre of the thighs was a group of four gold inlaid circlets similar to those already recorded.
(KK) (See HHH) Under sheet gold amulets not yet clear, they being hidden by the mask collarette, a number of large amulets of various materials became visible. They appear at present to be attached to something round the throat.
Objects already recorded by photography were then removed, photos were made of the remainder which in time were also removed.
This enabled the body to be bared down to the skin, from the top of the abdomen to the feet. The feet were fitted with gold sandals (LL), the toes with gold stalls, upon the right ankle was a gold wire circlet (MM).
Tail. Between the shin bones near towards the ankles was a small amulet of gold, beads, and (?) hair.
When this portion of the remains of the King were uncovered, i.e. his legs, pubis and abdomen, it was manifest that we were dealing with the mortal remains of a young person. And a more detailed medical examination to follow will determine with certainty his exact age.
Throughout these proceedings the wrappings, though much rotted and carbonized, showed evidence of having once been of fine cambric like quality. Again, whenever it was possible, to discern details of method of wrapping, the evidence was suggestive of hastiness - that was the consensus of opinion among the scientific element present.
(OO, PP, QQ, RR, SS) (X) So as to complete this stage of examination the afternoon was devoted to uncovering the right arm and hand which was flexed across the abdomen, with the result that the forearm was found to be encircled with five magnificent bracelets, which taken in order of sequence of discovery received the following lettering - (OO, PP, QQ, RR, and SS.). In this particular group the bracelet (X) must be included. Upon the fingers of this hand were gold finger-stalls. The details of these bracelets are somewhat intricate, and will be described in due course.
(TT) Lying over the upper wrappings of the left arm, and reaching down to the forearm, was a sheet gold amuletic knot.
As the light was insufficient for the necessary photographic records to be taken, the work for the day was discontinued. At 3.30 we returned home.
(It should be noted that letter II has been omitted.)
Near the flesh of the King the wrappings were nothing more than charred powder.
Certain visitors present hardly like delays such as taking records during the operation.
(UU) While clearing away debris from the left side of the body, among this was found a small finely carved carnelian sa3 bird, beside the trochanter which in sequence of discovery took the letter (UU).
The lower limb and body having been thoroughly cleaned, Drs Derry and Saleh Bey proceeded to take as many measurements as it was possible at this stage, and on account of its fragile condition the whole of the exposed parts were saturated with hot paraffin-wax.
Following this the last portions of the wrappings were removed from the left-forearm and hand exposing another important group of bracelets as well as a group of finger-rings. These were: -
(VV) A group of eight finger rings, lying over the left wrist though not attached. These finger-rings were of massive gold, black resin, some having scarab bezels and others the prenomen and nomen of the King - they will be described in detail later.
Upon the left forearm five bracelets: -
(WW) Massive gold bracelet just below elbow.
(XX) Elaborate bracelet of gold, amethyst and faience beads, around forearm next to (WW).
(YY) Intricate scarab and uraeus bracelet beside (XX).
(ZZ) Gold bracelet with inlaid sacred eye as centre piece, next to (YY).
(AAA) Bracelet consisting of carnelian uazet-eye near to the wrist.
Scale photos were then taken.
During the afternoon the above objects were removed, and further anatomical examination was made.
The soft tissues of the body were found to be all in a very brittle and carbonized condition.
Further than the above discoveries there is little to add today, owing to the greater part of the day being occupied in making archaeological, anatomical and photographic notes.
Though we have only reached as far as the forearms of the young King, the upper portion and head having yet to be examined, 52 groups of objects - personal & religious jewellery - have been discovered, all of which are of the finest workmanship and their exact positions recorded. If therefore the upper parts and the head are proportionally rich, we can begin to realize the wealth and profusion with which it seems to have been customary to adorn the remains of these ancient Pharaohs buried in this Royal Necropolis.
We have been today besieged with numerous press agents.
In all the material we have just seen we have a clear insight of the work of the skilled craftsmen of Thebes. The court artisans were naturally picked men, and in this last discovery we can discern the refinement of their art. I say refinement, for the technique in many ways is perhaps not so fine as regards finish as that of the Middle Kingdom jewellers, but if the technical skill be not so good, the refined taste displayed surpasses our expectations. It would tax our gold-smiths of today to surpass such refinement as is found in these royal ornaments.
(UU) (DDD) M. Lacau and the two Doctors together with the Inspectors arrived at Valley 8.30am, when we recommenced work. After slight amount of cleaning two further objects were disclosed, namely: a gold wire armlet with small amulets attached near the elbow of the left arm from which possibly fell the object (UU) discovered the day before; next to this amulet and a little higher up upon the arm was an elaborate bead bracelet having circular centre piece of filigree work, the bead band to which it was attached having the usual gold 'dividers'. This in sequence took the letter (DDD). Unfortunately due to the mass of debris of bandage around this part of the limb and to its powdery condition it was impossible to secure any reliable photographic record, the bead work of the bracelet having completely collapsed. Thus their different parts were extricated from the debris. As the decomposed wrappings below the body were gradually removed the following named objects were exposed: -
(EEE)(I and AA) (EEE) From the centre of the shins to the point below the pubis lying on bottom of the coffin longitudinally, and adhering to it, was a complete (Qebset) bull's tail, composed of wood, gold tubular beads, and small faience beadwork which had a core of (?) hair. This had to be consolidated with paraffin wax. Lying over the tail end of this object was a wire with tag belonging to one of the collarettes in groups (I and AA).
The lower part of the body and limbs having been completely bared and thoroughly examined, as well as photographic records taken, we were able to proceed with the uncovering of the upper part of the trunk of body as far as the shoulders.
In so doing the following interesting amulets and objects were gradually revealed, layer by layer - the reader will note that the first uppermost layer was already taken away by us at the beginning of the examination - namely letters: E. F. G and H. also T, therefore these following results begin at the sixth layer of wrappings and amulets:
the sixth layer comprised:
<> (FFF) A red jasper ( tt=thet) amulet attached by gold wire around neck. This was on right side of chest.
<> (GGG) A green uaz sceptre amulet, attached by gold wire to neck. This was on the centre of chest.
(HHH) Inlaid dd amulet of various materials, attached to neck by gold wire, lying on left side of chest.
(KK) (See KK Nov. 12) A solid gold dd amulet, attached to neck by gold wire, lying on centre of the chest.
(III) The seventh layer immediately below (FFF-KK) a gold amulet of doubtful significance, was lying on the right side of chest.
(JJJ) A similar amulet to (III) on left side of chest.
Between these last two amulets was a d serpent, all these being attached to the same string which had decayed, therefore with d serpent III and JJJ make one group.
These amulets having been photographed were removed together with collarette (GG) heretofore mentioned.
Mingled with these last mentioned groups of objects were small and decayed fragments of papyrus bearing a ritual written in linear hieros in white paint. This ritual was so disintegrated into minute fragments, all of which were entirely perished, only a few letters of the text were discernible - these gave names of gods such as Isis and Osiris, and for that reason it is not improbable that it pertained to the amulets named above.
(KKK) An amulet similar and pendent to (TT) formed the 8th layer. It lay in corresponding position to (TT) and right side (and no doubt TT was of same layer).
(LLL) An enormous chased sheet gold amuletic Buto, covering the whole of the front of the chest, its wings enveloping the shoulders, formed the 9th layer of objects. Its gold wire and pendent tag attached in all probability rested under the small of the back.
(MMM) Immediately below (LLL) - i.e. the 10th layer - was a Nekhbet vulture, of magnificent work, composed as follows: number of gold cloisonnes inlaid with faience, attached to one another by minute loops and faience beads. The head, body, feathered legs and tail-feathers are of one piece, while the claws holding the shen symbols are of separate pieces. The primary, secondary and tertiary flight feathers and also the wing-coverts are formed of cloisonnes already described. This forms a massive pectoral of the Goddess of Upper Egypt.
This terminated the work of today.
The result of Drs. Derry and Saleh Bey's study of the bony frame of the mummy, so far exposed, has enabled them to give a definite pronouncement as to the age of Tut.ankh.Amen. This controversial question has now been settled and his age definitely fixed between the limits of 17 to nineteen years of age. As soon as the upper parts of the mummy are examined an even more precise statement will be possible. Thus as we have documentary evidence referring to the sixth year of the reign of Tut.ankh.Amen, discovered in a cachette by the late Theodore M. Davis in the Valley of the Kings, the king cannot have ascended to the throne later than his thirteenth year - and from data yielded by certain discoveries in his tomb, he was then probably merely co-regent and not sole monarch.
M. Lacau and the two Drs arrived 8.30am, when we began again the examination, the actual proceedings commencing by Burton taking photographic records of the two last objects mentioned yesterday (i.e. LLL and MMM).
(NNN) Below these objects were several layers of linen much decomposed. This exposed an eleventh layer , comprising one large pectoral in the form of a winged (L) Nekhbet and (R) Buto combined. This ornament was formed of numerous cloisonné sections encrusted with (?) coloured glass. Underneath this pectoral was a sheet of linen, cut in same and no doubt doubt was sewn to it. This pectoral was sufficiently large as to cover the chest, its flight passing the shoulders of the mummy.
Below this were alternate layers of crossed bandages passing over the shoulders and the transverse bandages holding them in place. Beneath these a sheet folded several times, under which were similar crossed and transverse bandages. Then came a great thickness (3 cms.) of wrappings which came away in almost one piece revealing a large group of objects forming the 12th-16th layers before reaching the actual body. There were as follows:
(OOO) Lying (on chest) on top of group, a rectangular open-work pectoral, having for device three scarabs supporting a solar and lunar discs, hanging to this are four lotus flowers, three lotus buds and six immature buds, all of which are in the round and of similar gold encrusted work. This depended, as far as it is now possible to judge, from four strings of gold, faience and carnelian beads, now lying in an irregular mess upon the group.
(PPP) A pectoral of very refined workmanship in gold minutely encrusted with lapis lazuli and carnelian, and in the form of a flying griffin vulture, found fallen near left shoulder, evidently was originally placed above the foregoing pectoral (OOO). This was also attached to the King by means of beadstring work not yet fully recognised.
(QQQ) A circular pectoral forming the King's nomen, the principal of the device being a winged human Kheper. This was on the left side of the chest and was made of gold cloisonnes encrusted, depending from a gold chain.
(RRR) A blue faience pectoral in form of uazat-eye, uraeus and sa symbol; lying on the very upper part of the abdomen, and depends from a string of cylindrical faience, granular gold & plain gold beads.
15th Layer (See 4e)
(SSS) What now appears to be a sort of girdle of gold and faience cylindrical & disk beads. This hangs slightly towards the right side of the chest, and continues upwards towards the shoulders, the exact continuation is clear at present, but appeared to be by means of gold.
(TTT) Below the whole group and at the lowest level before reaching the skin, was a bib-like collarette composed of fine green faience & gold bead matting having a zigzag pattern, having a border of gold sequins and drop-pendant margin. This bib covers the whole of the upper part of the chest as far as the clavicles.
(UUU) A pectoral, fallen in debris on the right side of the chest, in form of a hawk in heavy gold encrusted. This appears to have been symmetrical with (QQQ) and of the same layer. Attached originally by chain.
(VVV) A pectoral of gold encrusted, the device being wazet-eye terminating uraeus having Osiris vulture behind. This was attached by bead work strings - these on each side. It was found below left shoulder, where it had obviously fallen, and in all probability was central to pectorals UUU and QQQ. Thus as far as can be judged the three pectorals QQQ, UUU, and VVV formed one layer namely the 13th (and having below them the faience uazet (RRR)).
Below this group of 5 layers (12-16) was a very thin layer of wrapping which actually covers the body of the king, but the lower part of the girdle (SSS) and the uazet (RRR) were actually upon the bare flesh of the king.
(WWW) Fallen in rubbish but probably from right arm, a small wire bracelet with bead, and (?) centre piece missing.
Fixed around the neck of the king, by means of five gold wires were the following five amulets:
(XXX) Anubis in green-felspar.
(YYY) Horus in lapis lazuli.
(ZZZ) Serpent head in carnelian.
(4A) Tehuti in green felspar.
(4B) Uaze in " "
Below the neck, and mingled in the debris were sundry objects:
(4C) Black resin bead with granular gold work attached.
(4D) Three gold chains.
(4E) (see SSS) Under the back of the mummy, across the scapulae, a series of sections of (?) ornament lying face downwards and in great part stuck fast to bottom of coffin, being embedded in the pitch-like material. Among those portions recognisable were: two abs, a plaque comprising two deds and a thet, two (?) Ba-birds, and a large plaque of open work of the following device: a central figure of eternity supported by uraeus bearing red & white crown, and on other margin the reed of 'Millions of Years'. This device is surmounted with the king's cartouche.
These were all photographed, and thus the day was terminated.
All that remains to be done is the examination of the head of the mummy, which we were obliged to leave until the last due to its being completely covered by its golden mask fast adhering to the coffin.
The two doctors today have been able to definitely declare the age of the young king to be about eighteen years, therefore he was only 12 years old when he ascended the throne as co-regent.
It was found that the long back appendages of a diadem fixed around the head were thickly embedded in the pitch-like material at the bottom of the coffin (below 4E). While freeing these gold appendages it was noticed that the bead-work bib (TTT) also passed round to the back of the shoulders, and stuck to the bottom of the coffin. Again, embedded in the pitch-like material, mingled with (4E), were two gold inlaid tags of collarettes. These objects having been freed, we were able to direct our attention to the head & neck.
It was found that like the body of the king the back of the head was stuck (in this case) to the mask - so firmly that it would require a hammer chisel to free it. Eventually we used hot knives for the purpose with success.
Certain objects around the neck had to be removed before proceeding further. It was unfortunately not possible to obtain photos of them in situ, they being covered by the collarette of the mask. These objects lying one above the other were as follows: -
Commencing from top downwards:
(4F) Human headed winged serpent of chased sheet gold, attached to neck by means of cord.
(4G) Double uraeus of chased sheet gold attached to neck by means of cord.
(4H) A Mût-vulture in chased sheet gold attached to neck by means of cord.
(4I) Two similar objects possibly on same cord. These objects (4F-4I) were on right side of throat & faced north - (i.e. to left).
(4J) On the left side of throat a similar vulture to those already described, attached by cord & facing south - (i.e. to right).
(4K) An uraeus of similar type on left side of neck facing north, also attached by cord.
(4L) On left side of throat a fifth vulture of chased sheet gold, with head facing north - (all of which attached by cord).
Fallen under the neck towards left side were seven faience round beads which may come from the cords of the above amuletic figures of vultures and serpents. It is hoped that carefully collaboration will clear this point.
(4M) At a lower level to the above objects, tied around the neck, at the level of the thyroid cartilage, a neck band of four strings of beads, which only half encircled the neck, owing perhaps to the thickness of the wrappings. The strings of this neck band (at end of beads) were in all probability plaited together and tied at the back of the throat.
These objects recorded and removed, it was possible after applying of hot knives, to withdraw the head from its mask.
(4N) Some of the outer bandages of the top of the head, remained adhering to the interior of the mask, thus exposing a double rope-like 'lawaya' encircling the crown of the head, made of a (?) fibrous material tightly bound with string. This had slipped down slightly during the operation of withdrawing the head from mask. This peculiar object has loops at the back for attachment and being of very fragile nature it was somewhat broken.
Over the left orbit, possibly originally attached to 4N, though this is not clear, there were six dark blue faience beads.
(4O) Beneath (4N) there were several layers of wrappings, of coarse linen probably for protective reasons, which when removed disclosed around the crown of the head a magnificent diadem, in the form of a gold fillet encrusted, having two back and two side appendages. The side appendages have uraeii attached to them.
(4P) Underneath more wrappings there was a thin sheet gold forehead band. This band extended behind and above the ears, having slits at the extremities for tape attachment tied at the back of the head. On either side of the head were large protective wads of linen.
(4Q) Under diadem (4O) and beneath several thicknesses of wrappings was a (Buto) uraeus on centre of forehead, with body & tail of several sections continuing over the axis of the crown of the head, and sewn at the extreme end to the wrapping - this sewing was in the vicinity of the lambda.
(4R) On the crown of the head and covering that portion of the snake was a heavy sheet gold Nekhbet vulture, her body being parallel with that of the snake, and her open wings covering the crown of the head of the King.
On removing these last two objects it was found that the head wrappings were tied at the back in the manner of a chinon. Note linen headdress.
(4S) Beneath more wrappings, a thin sheet gold band exactly similar to (4P) and in similar position was tied beneath the occiput by means of linen tape fastened by knot in centre - (see photo).
Sufficient of the head of the king was exposed today to show us that Tut.ankh.Amen was of a type exceedingly refined and cultured. The face has beautiful and well formed features. The head shows strong structural resemblance to Akh-en-Aten, suggesting the same affinity noticeable on the monuments. A resemblance in character which makes one inclined to seek a blood relationship - a kindred not at all unlikely. The medical examination may tell us.
The actual meaning of many of these amulets and symbols is not clear, nor do we know their exact nomenclature, however, whoever wears the ded symbol may enter into the realms of the dead, eat the food of Osiris, and be justified. He on whom the thet symbol is hung will be guarded by Isis and Horus, and be welcomed with joy. In other words both secure protection and welcome into the kingdom of Osiris. The eye, an amulet which occurs frequently, has obscure meaning; it can be the eye of Horus, the model of all good gifts. The serpent head may serve to frighten away obnoxious reptiles. These magic spells had to be uttered in solemn voice.
It will be seen that for the sake of greater security the amulets of certain divinites are often combined, especially those of Nekhbet and Buto, and probably thus more effective.
The knot, the stone and gold finger-rings, especially when threaded upon flaxen cords, as they may have been in this case, may be described as special amulets, but what the powers ascribed to them were is not known, but they were placed there for the betterment of the dead and were made as dainty and costly as possible.
Upon the head was placed a sort of skull cap of fine linen and worked upon a design of curve serpent pattern, this was supposed to secure for the dead one a sight of the sun.
(4T) This actual skull-cap of the thinnest cambric fabric having device of four uraeii worked with very fine faience and gold beads, the centres of the head of the cobras bearing small cartouches, takes in order sequence the letter 4T, and fits closely to the crown of the head. As it would have been practically impossible to remove this device owing to its fragile nature & minuteness of work, it was consolidated with paraffin wax and left in place.
(4U) (4V) Upon the top of the head of the King, was an enormous pad some ... centimetres in height, of linen wads and bandages wrapped in the manner of a modern surgical head bandage. This was of a conical form and in its shape was suggestive of a crown. The linen was in this case in far better preservation than any hitherto found upon the mummy. Its purpose is obscure, though possibly it either represented the form of the crown of Osiris (the mummy being necessarily made in his semblance), or was merely a pad intended to fill up the space that otherwise would have been left empty in hollow of the headdress of the mask. The former explanation seems for the moment to be the more probable. Besides a small amuletic headrest, found beneath the above mentioned head pad this completed the total ornaments found upon the royal mummy.
After photographic records are made of the King's remains, these will be reverently re-wrapped and returned to the sarcophagus.
M. Lacau, who was present during the whole of this examination, left today for Cairo, taking with him a final archaeological bulletin as well as that of the two Doctors Derry and Saleh Bey.
As will be seen from the above lettering of the various discoveries made there were 97 separate groups of objects within the wrappings of the mummy. Some of these groups included many individual objects.
Saleh Bey & Derry left after lunch.
It was found that this pitch-like material could be melted under great heat, and that was really the only means of successfully getting the coffins and mask apart. Thus, so as to apply sufficient heat as was necessary without causing damage to those wonderful specimens of ancient Egyptian arts & crafts, the third coffin was completely lined with plates of zinc which would not melt under a temperature of 500 centigrade. We then reversed the coffins by turning them upside down upon trestles, covered the outside (second) coffin with heavy wet blankets for protection against fire, and placed under the hollow of the third coffin primus paraffin lamps burning at full blast. The temperature was naturally carefully watched so that it did not exceed the melting point of the zinc plates. It took some three hours before any real effect in the way of movement took place. The moment signs of movement became apparent, the lamps were turned out and the coffins left suspended upon the trestles where after an hour they began slowly to fall apart - the movement at first almost imperceptible owing to the tenacity of the material which when heated was of an exceedingly plastic nature and of the consistency of thick treacle, which even when the coffins came apart was very difficult to remove - even with quantities of various solvents - among which the final cleaning was done by means of acetone.
The mask was also a difficult undertaking - the inlay had become unstuck from the heat applied to free it from the coffin. It took many days for final cleaning and I am still replacing the numerous pieces of glass and stone inlay that came away.
Extricating numbers of small beads and parts of objects that were embedded in the pitch-like material collected under the mummy was also a very tiresome and long job - this, I am glad to say, is mostly finished and next week we shall be able to commence upon the more genial work of piecing the various specimens together and thus as time allows complete them.
(December 17, 2010)
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