Objects between the sarcophagus and the shrines (TAA i.3.28)

Howard Carter's notes made in preparation of the complete publication of Tutankhamun's tomb
This section:
Concept & Direction: Jaromir Malek
Scanning: Kent Rawlinson, Keunjoo Kim and Jenni Navratil
Transcription and editing: Sue Hutchison and Jaromir Malek
Coordination: Elizabeth Fleming

TAA i.3.28.1-9, nine quarto size sheets of handwritten text

TAA i.3.28.1 recto

The objects placed between the Sarcophagus and the Sepulchral Shrines

TAA i.3.28.1 verso

x = plan, and negs. 600, 645, and 676. x = plan, and negs. 600, 645.

TAA i.3.28.2

Placed between the first (innermost) shrine and the second shrine were two flabella and two groups of bows and arrows. Their distribution and description being as follows: -

On the west end, at the head of the King, and lying with its handle towards the north, was a large golden ostrich-feather flabellum (plates ... ... ... x, No.242.).
This ceremonial fan is of the screen kind, i.e. consisting of a handle to which is attached a rigid mount. It is encased with 'fine' sheet gold upon a wooden core. The semi-circular rigid mount, 18.5 cents., by 10.5 cents., has its outer edge pierced to receive 30 ostrich-feathers which were white and brown (1) alternate. The ostrich feathers were unfortunately reduced to almost a mass of débris, they having been attacked by insects soon after the tomb was closed; however, when they were first examined in situ, the order of their colour and their length, about 25 cents., was discernible (see fig. ...). They also appeared to be natural and not made up plumes.

[the following paragraph crossed out]

The plain round tapering handle, 95 cents. in length, diminishing gradually in thickness towards its upper end like the peduncle (or flowering stem) of papyrus, is surmounted by a conventionalized papyrus-umbel: the rays of the umbel, represented en masse, terminate in rich downward curves, and incised upon the axial base of the gold umbel are the bracts. The butt end of the handle terminates in another conventionalized papyrus-umbel, but of much simpler form with the bracts and rays simply incised upon the gold.

TAA i.3.28.3

Between the sarcophagus and the first (innermost) shrine were the following objects: -

On the south side, i.e. the right-hand of the king, placed practically in the centre, was a large dd-emblem (plates ... ... ... x, no. 250)

This wooden emblem, 56 cents. high, mounted upon a wooden pedestal measuring 20.5 x 20 x 3.5 cents., is painted yellow, red, blue, and green. The pedestal, coloured red, by being pierced with two holes, one of which had still a peg in it, would seem to have been fixed on to some object before it was placed here. The dado of the first shrine rested on part of the pedestal, and in front were some rags.

On the same side, towards the eastern end, was a bundle of reeds tied together with strips of papyrus, and on the west side, s. w. corner, some rags were stuffed into a hollow under the base of the sarcophagus (plates ... ... ... x, nos. 249, 251).

These remnants, like the numerous strips of wood that were lying on the floor, were obviously workmen's refuse: the rags were probably used to protect the lower edge of the sarcophagus when levering it into position; the bundle of reeds were possibly used as a pad when dealing with the sections of the shrines.

TAA i.3.28.3 verso

x = plan, and negs. 597, 696, 697, and 695.

(1) "In the male ostrich, the long feathers of the tail, and wings are white, and the short feathers of the body are jet black; while the tail and wing feathers of the female are white, tinged with a duskey gray" (W. P. P., Ency.Brit., XIVth. Ed., vol. 9,p. 131). It is possible then that the brown feathers here were once black.

The plain tapering handle, 95 cents. in length, diminishing gradually in thickness towards its upper end like the papyrus paduncle or flowering stem, is surmounted by a conventionalized papyrus-umbel: the rays of the umbel, represented en masse, terminate in rich downward curves, and incised upon the axial base of the umbel are the bracts. The butt of the handle ends in another conventional papyrus-umbel, but reversed and of much simpler form with the bracts and the rays simply incised upon the gold. The upper and lower ends of the shaft are annulated, suggesting a binding.

TAA i.3.28.4

The gold encased semi-circular mount of the fan is embossed and incised on both sides with scenes depicting the king hunting ostrich. On one side, which for convenience may be named the obverse, the youthful king is represented in his chariot, with the reins around his buttocks, shooting with bow and arrow a pair of ostriches. The king, standing in the act of shooting an arrow, wears a short wig, a collarette, the sndyt-kilt, and insignia; his shoulders and body are bound with an ornamented cloth, & his left forearm and wrist is protected with an archer's 'bracer'. A quiver is slung on his back, and a bow-case is attached to the chariot. The chariot, with open lunettes at the sides, is drawn by a pair of prancing horses, plumed, and richly bedecked with housings and trappings. Accompanying the horses is a 'saluki' hound, and, in front of the horses, are two terrified ostriches stricken with arrows. Above the birds are two sprays of flora, and behind the king is a human limbed cnh represented in the act of running and carrying a fan - a replica of this flabellum. Above the scene the king is entitled: <>
and over the cnh are the words <>
On the reverse side of the mount, the king is represented returning leisurely in his chariot, preceded by two attendants carrying on their shoulders his quarry - two ostriches. Here, some of the ostrich-plumes are depicted

TAA i.3.28.5 recto

under the King's arms. Above this scene are nine vertical lines of inscription reading: -

<> <>

and behind the king: <> and <>

On the obverse side of the shaft of the handle is a vertical incised inscription reading: -

<> <> <> <> <>

TAA i.3.28.5 verso

x = plan, and negs. 598, 698, and 699.

(1) In ancient Egyptian cloisonné work, the compartments are made with thin gold plates set on edge upon a gold foundation, and into these the variously coloured natural stones or glass are fitted.

(2) The wood of the core had unfortunately shrunk, causing the sheet-gold casing to buckle in places, and much of its inlay to fall: these were, however, recovered and reset.

TAA i.3.28.6 recto

On the south side, the right-hand of the king, was another large ostrich-feather flabellum, placed on the ground with its handle towards the west (plates ... ... ... x, No. 245).

This ceremonial flabellum is also of the screen kind: having a rigid mount attached to a handle. The round tapering handle, 112.7 cents. in length, diminishing in size towards its upper end, is made of solid ebony. The shaft is decorated at intervals with broad sheet-gold bands, which are bordered with collars of quatrefoil and garland-like ornament inlaid in Egyptian cloisonné (1) fashion with lapis lazuli and turquoise coloured glass, and calcite. The expanding butt end is encased with sheet gold and bordered with a collar of similarly inlaid garland pattern; while its upper extremity has a collar of similar quatrefoil ornament and is surmounted by the traditional papyrus umbel. Here, the gold encased convionalized rays of the umbel are represented by a rich downward curve on either side, and the bracts are rendered in cloisonné work, inlaid with lapis lazuli coloured glass and calcite (1). Incised upon the obverse of the umbel is the following wish: <>, "Life to the Beautiful Ruler".

The rigid semi-circular mount, made of an inferior reddish wood core (2) encased in sheet-gold, is elaborately encrusted with lapis lazuli, turquoise, and carnelian coloured glass, and calcite. The device on both sides being: in the centre the prenomen and nomen of the king surmounted by sun-discs and resting

TAA i.3.28.6 verso

(1) "The central axis of a bird's feather is divisible into two distinct parts - a hollow, cylindrical, transparent calamus, or "quill", the base of which is inserted into the skin, and a solid, quadrangular rhaetus or "shaft" supporting the "vane" - vexillum (W.P.P., Ency. Brit., XIVth Ed., vol. 9, p. 128).

x = plan, and neg. 598

(2) One kind of wood; here of a reddish brown resembling cedar.

TAA i.3.28.7 recto

upon nbyt-collar signs. These cartouches are flanked by vultures wearing the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt. The vultures stained upon similar nbyt-symbols, and in front of the vultures, between their open wings, are snw-cartouches and w3s-sceptres. The sun-discs are surmounted by the heavenly canopy pt the 'sky', and the whole device is framed with the customary <> - border. The mount measures 20.4 cents., by 12 cents., and its outer edge is pierced to receive 41 ostrich-feathers. The feathers as in the preceding case were reduced to powder by insects; they were apparently all white plumes, and judging from some of their remaining quills and shafts (1) they were at least 30 cents. in length. The flabellum when perfect must therefore have been over a metre and a half in length, from the butt end of the handle to the tips of its plumes.

On the same side, the south or right-hand of the king, were also two long-bows and a group of ten arrows. While the flabella described above could easily have been used during active ceremonial observances, such as religious or conventional forms of deference or respect, the bows and arrows found here, and also on the north side, were undoubtedly for sepulchral use only.

A long-bow placed on the ground towards the western end of the south side (plates ... ... ... x No. 244).

This dummy bow, 191 cents. in length, represents a 'self' bow, i.e. made entirely of self wood (2). It is made of two staves joined

TAA i.3.28.7 verso

x = plan, and Neg. 598

x = plan, and Neg. 598.

(1) I.e. made of one piece of wood, the shaft being the same size from 'neck' to 'pile'.

TAA i.3.28.8 recto

by a scarf-joint which forms the centre of the bow - the handle or grip. The staves are round, have a max. diam. of 27 mills., and taper off gradually towards the curved 'horns' on which a string was fitted. The handle or grip, and the two horns are encased in thin sheet-gold. These mountings are encased with gold collar-like borders incised with rope and spiral ornament. The bare wood in places was badly eaten by insects, but parts of the linen in which the bow had been wrapped still remained.

A fellow long-bow was placed on the ground towards the eastern end of the south side (plates ... ... ... x No. 246). This dummy bow, 176.5 cents. in length, is of similar type and make as the preceding specimen, but without the gold mountings. It had also been wrapped in linen.

A group of ten arrows, lying on the ground at the western end of the south side (plates ... ... ... x No. 243).

These dummy arrows, 91 cents. long, having a diam. of 8 mills., are made of a red wood resembling cedar, and they represent 'self' arrows of the 'parallel' pattern.(1) Their 'piles' and 'nocks' are painted black, probably to represent ebony so often employed in real Egyptian arrows of this period, and their shafts are painted at intervals with black and yellow bands to represent binding. They had no feathers.

TAA i.3.28.8 verso

x = plan, and Neg. 599.

TAA i.3.28.9

On the north side, i.e. on the left of the king, placed near the western end, were a pair of long-bows and a group of ten arrows (plates ... ... ... x Nos. 241, 247, and 248).

These bows and arrows are dummies of the same type and make as the preceding specimens. Bow 241, measures 164 cents. in length; bow 247, measures 197 cents. in length; and the arrows, group 248, are 91 cents. long.

Although the shrines themselves were placed the reverse way round, since the king and the sarcophagus were in correct orientation, the probabilities are that those flabella, bows, and arrows, were in there correct positions in accordance with Egyptian new supine burial custom. However, we have here another example of the careless manner in which the officials in change of the obsequies carried out their duty. One of the long-bows (no. 241) was forgotten, but before lowering the roof of the third shrine they placed the bow upon the ledge of the cornice of the second shrine above its fellow one.

Between the second and third shrines there were no objects.

TAA i.3.28.10 and 11, two pages torn out of a small (11.5 by 8 cm) notebook

TAA i.3.28.10

Bows and arrows on N. Side
Print of Neg. No. 599 wanted.

TAA i.3.28.11

For Nos. 250, 249 and 251,
prints from Negs. 600, 645 required.

TAA i.3.28.12-19, photographic prints

TAA i.3.28.12 = Burton photo. p0597

TAA i.3.28.13 = Burton photo. p0598

TAA i.3.28.14 = Burton photo. p0695

TAA i.3.28.15 = Burton photo. p0696

TAA i.3.28.16 = Burton photo. p0697

TAA i.3.28.17 = Burton photo. p0698

TAA i.3.28.18 = Burton photo. p0699

TAA i.3.28.19 = Burton photo. p0676

(February 6, 2009)

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