The first shrine
(TAA i.3.24)

[Carter calls it the fourth shrine]

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:
Lindsay Allen and Jaromir Malek
Coordination: Elizabeth Fleming

TAA i.3.24.1 [left]


TAA i.3.24.1 [right]


TAA i.3.24.2

No. 207. Fourth (outermost) shrine
Quercus Qegilups L.
See Boodle Ms. p. 32.

TAA i.3.24.3

No. 207. Fourth (Outermost) Shrine
Part of tenon.
Cedrus Libani Barr.
See Boodle MS. p.29

TAA i.3.24.4


This fourth (outermost) shrine filled within a little the entire area of the Sarcophagus Chamber, a space of some ... centimetres separating it from the walls on all its four sides, while the roof reached almost to the ceiling. Its structural form was peculiarly suited to its surroundings, and in the Sarcophagus Chamber it had a monumental value. It is constructed of cedar wood, oak, and possibly Christ's Thorn wood (see below, also third shrine, p. ). From top to bottom, both inside and out, it is overlaid with a thin layer of sheet gold, laid on as gold leaf upon a coating of gesso. The sides, end, and doors, are inlaid with panels of brilliant blue faience (glazed pottery), arranged in tiers, in which are represented in gold, repeated over and over, pairs of <> 'tt' and 'dd' symbols. On the left side, which should have been the north side but was actually the south side owing to a mistake in orientation (see below), is a rectangular gilded panel in which are the <> 'wd3t'-eyes, and in the centre of each door an oblong rectangular gilded panel with representations from ...... The crowning members and framework are decorated with customary Egyptian incised ornament, such as:- on the curved front of the roof and over the door frieze the winged sun-disc, on the sides of the roof the winged <> 'hf3w'-snake; the cornice with palm-leaf pattern; and upon the frieze and styles designations of the King. The great folding doors were bolted in similar manner as the preceding shrines of this series, but they were neither corded nor sealed, although they have silver coated copper staples fixed on to their meeting styles for that express purpose.

The over-all decoration of the interior comprises incised magical texts recounting the "Destruction of Mankind," framed with a treble margin in black resinous material like lacquer upon the gilding. The roof is entirely coated with a similar black resin, and down the centre is a series of open-winged Upper Egyptian Nekhebet vultures in gold.

Another feature of this shrine is the form of its roof. Instead of having the usual rounded front with a receding slope towards the back, such as we find in the hieroglyphic ideogram <> for shrine, and on the two preceding shrines, it takes the double form peculiar to the ideogram <> for the Sed-festival. The reason for this double form may possibly have been purely structural; for, owing

TAA i.3.24.5


to the great depth of the shrine, a single sloping roof would have necessitated its elevated curved front to have been in height far out of proportion with the rest of the structure. Otherwise this double form of roof might suggest some dual purpose like the booths in the sed-festival ideogram.

This great outer shrine was fitted over and completely enclosed the pall upon its strutts and the third shrine.

Its dimensions rendered in 'mean measurement' are as follows:-

Dimensions at base - 502 x 334 cents.
at abutment of cornice - 494 x 327 cents.
at extreme edges of cornice - 530 x 363 cents.
Height to abutment of cornice - 240 cents.
to top of cornice - 270 cents.
to top of roof (max. height) - 298 cents.
The sides of the shrine show a batter - i.e. receding slope from ground upwards - of 15.6 mills. per one metre vertical, and the opening of the doorway is 277 cents. wide, by 207 cents. high.

The method of its construction is as follows:- The roof in three sections; the entablature, i.e. the cavetto cornice, roll moulding, and chief beam or frieze, in four members; four corner posts, which form the styles of the side and end panels, and the door posts of the front; two side and one end panel; two side and one end dado; a sill; and two (folding) doors: making twenty separate members and sections in all.

The roof sections are tongued and mortised to the members of the entablature (see fig.), and their meeting edges are rebated. When the shrine was erected in the Sarcophagus Chamber the middle roof section was put on the wrong way round!

The four members of the entablature were locked together at the corners by means of heavy copper dowels sunk into slots cut in the upper surface of the cornice (see fig.). Each dowel is inscribed with its respective cardinal point. These crowning members were also tongued and mortised to the upper edges of the panel sections of the understructure (see fig.); their meeting edges being rebated.

For the side and end panels several boards were employed to obtain the necessary width. And they were joined up by means of re-

TAA i.3.24.6


bated joints strengthened with dowels at intervals. These joints were originally glued, and as practically no warping or twisting is visible it is not improbable that care was taken to reverse the direction of the annular rings of each alternate board. The ends of the panels were confined by vertical clamps, through which the tenons - fitted parallel to the grain at the ends of the horizontal boards - pass and project sufficiently for insertion into corresponding mortise holes in the styles of the corner posts (see fig.). The meeting edges of the clamps and styles were also rebated.

The three lower sections forming the dado were treated and fitted in similar manner as the panel sections. Their upper rebated edges were joined to the panels by means of cross-tongues and mortises at intervals (see fig.). Their bottom edges, like the rest of the under-structure, were bound with sheet copper painted a dark greenish-blue.

The four corner posts were made of several pieces of timber. They were mortised to the tenons of the panel and dado sections, and mitred and stub tenoned to the chief beam or over door frieze, and stub tenoned to the sill (see fig.)

The roll moulding beneath the cavetto cornice and carried down the external angles of the corner posts is planted, i.e. separately worked and fixed in position with headless wooden pins.

The framework for the folding doors, formed by the chief beam or over door frieze, door posts, and sill, is rebated to receive the doors, and sockets to receive the door pivots have been sunk into the chief and sill (see fig.). The folding doors, made up of several boards in like manner as the panel sections, are framed with meeting and hanging styles, and top and bottom rails, planed flush with the panel boards. Fixed on to the top and bottom 'horns' of the hanging styles are copper pivots upon which the doors are hung. The butt edges of the hanging styles are rounded to enable the doors to swing freely, and their meeting styles are rebated to prevent observation through the joint.

A tenon - the fitted end of one of the horizontal boards for insertion into corresponding mortise - was examined by Mr. L.A. Boodle, who identified it as being cedar wood (Cedrus Libani, Barrelier.), probably from the Lebanon or Asia Minor. One of cross-tongues, employed for fitting the crowning members to the

TAA i.3.24.7


sections of the under-structure, was also examined by Mr Boodle, which he has identified as being oak (Quercus cerris, Linn.), possibly from Asia Minor or North Syria. Thus, in all probability, the planking of this shrine is of cedar wood and the cross-tongues of oak. This is, I believe, the first time that oak has been identified from ancient Egypt. It was probably imported from one of the two districts mentioned above.

The various members and sections of this shrine bear the following "guide" marks and cardinal points, which were either scratched or painted in black upon the gold overlay:-
L. side R. side
EXTERIOR Front-cornice - N. <> S. face <>
" frieze - - - S. <>
" doors - N. <> S. <>
" Sill - N. <> S. <>
" Posts - N. face <> S. <>
Back-cornice - S. back <> N. back <>
" frieze - S. back <> N. back <>
" panel - S.back <> N.back <>
" dado - S. back <> N. back <>
" Posts - S. back <> N. back <>
Right side - cornice - S. front <> S. end <>
" " frieze - S. front <> S. end <>
" " panel - S. front <> S. end <>
" " dado - S.W. front <> S. end <>
" " posts - S. front <> S. end <>
Left side - cornice - - -
" " frieze - N. end <> front <>
" " panel - N.E. end <> N.W. front <>
" " dado - N.E. end <> N.W. front <>
" " posts - end <> front <>

Notwithstanding these instructions, the shrine was erected in the exact opposite directions - namely, the front facing towards the East instead of towards the West. On the interior walls are the following "guide" marks:-
Front frieze <> <> left side frieze <> <> -
" posts <> <> " " panel - <> -
Right side frieze <> <> " " posts - -
" " panel -
posts <> <>
Back frieze <> <> <>
" panel - <> -
" posts <> <>

TAA i.3.24.8 = note from photograph envelope, no scan


TAA i.3.24.9 to 14 = photographs of first (outermost) shrine, interior, north side

TAA i.3.24.9

TAA i.3.24.10

TAA i.3.24.11

TAA i.3.24.12

TAA i.3.24.13

TAA i.3.24.14

TAA i.3.24.15 = note from photograph envelope, no scan

N.E. & S.E. DOORS.

TAA i.3.24.16 to 24 = photographs of first (outermost) shrine, interior, north-east and south-east doors

TAA i.3.24.16

TAA i.3.24.17

TAA i.3.24.18

TAA i.3.24.19

TAA i.3.24.20

TAA i.3.24.21

TAA i.3.24.22

TAA i.3.24.23

TAA i.3.24.24

TAA i.3.24.25 = note from photograph envelope, no scan


TAA i.3.24.26 to 30 = photographs of first (outermost) shrine, interior, west end

TAA i.3.24.26

TAA i.3.24.27

TAA i.3.24.28

TAA i.3.24.29

TAA i.3.24.30

TAA i.3.24.31 = note from photograph envelope, no scan

Published Piankoff: Les Chapelles de Toutankhamon (2), pl. I.

TAA i.3.24.32 to 37 = photographs of first (outermost) shrine, interior, south side

TAA i.3.24.32

TAA i.3.24.33

TAA i.3.24.34

TAA i.3.24.35

TAA i.3.24.36

TAA i.3.24.37

TAA i.3.24.38 = note from photograph envelope, no scan

First (outermost) shrine. Exterior.
N. E. & S. E. doors.

TAA i.3.24.39 to 42 = photographs of first (outermost) shrine, exterior, north-east and south-east doors

TAA i.3.24.39

TAA i.3.24.40

TAA i.3.24.41

TAA i.3.24.42

TAA i.3.24.43 = note from photograph envelope, no scan


TAA i.3.24.44 to 59 = photographs of first (outermost) shrine, corner posts

TAA i.3.24.44

TAA i.3.24.45

TAA i.3.24.46

TAA i.3.24.47

TAA i.3.24.48

TAA i.3.24.49

TAA i.3.24.50

TAA i.3.24.51

TAA i.3.24.52

TAA i.3.24.53

TAA i.3.24.54

TAA i.3.24.55

TAA i.3.24.56

TAA i.3.24.57

TAA i.3.24.58

TAA i.3.24.59

TAA i.3.24.60 = note from photograph envelope, no scan


TAA i.3.24.61 to 81 = photographs of first (outermost) shrine, interior, friezes

TAA i.3.24.61

TAA i.3.24.62

TAA i.3.24.63

TAA i.3.24.64

TAA i.3.24.65

TAA i.3.24.66

TAA i.3.24.67

TAA i.3.24.68

TAA i.3.24.69

TAA i.3.24.70

TAA i.3.24.71

TAA i.3.24.72

TAA i.3.24.73

TAA i.3.24.74

TAA i.3.24.75

TAA i.3.24.76

TAA i.3.24.77

TAA i.3.24.78

TAA i.3.24.79

TAA i.3.24.80

TAA i.3.24.81

TAA i.3.24.82 = note from photograph envelope, no scan


TAA i.3.24.83 to 102 = photographs of first (outermost) shrine, exterior, frieze

TAA i.3.24.83

TAA i.3.24.84

TAA i.3.24.85

TAA i.3.24.86

TAA i.3.24.87

TAA i.3.24.88

TAA i.3.24.89

TAA i.3.24.90

TAA i.3.24.91

TAA i.3.24.92

TAA i.3.24.93

TAA i.3.24.94

TAA i.3.24.95

TAA i.3.24.96

TAA i.3.24.97

TAA i.3.24.98

TAA i.3.24.99

TAA i.3.24.100

TAA i.3.24.101

TAA i.3.24.102

TAA i.3.24.103 = note from photograph envelope, no scan


TAA i.3.24.104 = photograph of first (outermost) shrine, interior, roof,

(June 3, 2009)

Back to Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation