100 years ago, on November 6, 1922, the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun was opened, considered one of the greatest archaeological finds of all time. Even after so much time, the discovery remains a mystery and the story is used in countless film productions.
To mark the centenary of the opening of ‘King Tutankhamun’s tomb’, here are four fun facts about the find:
The tomb was opened in November 1922 and resonated around the world. British archaeologist Howard Carter needed another six excavations to be successful. His team discovered an intact tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Upper Egypt.
The treasure was intact, spread over the five rooms of the tomb and containing 4,500 objects (furniture, jewelry, figurines), some of them made of solid gold.
The tomb of the young pharaoh, who died at the age of 19, approximately in 1324 BC, is the only one in ancient Egypt that houses a treasure.
solid gold casket
In addition to the gold objects, a gold-plated wooden bed was also found.
“The spectacular red quartzite sarcophagus housed three fitted coffins, the last – 110 kg of solid gold – containing the mummy of Tutankhamun,” says the website Radio France Internationale.
The most important piece of the find, recognized internationally, is a gold funerary mask weighing more than ten kilos, inlaid with lapis lazuli and other semi-precious stones.
enigmatic family tree
After investigation, it was identified that the father of the young Tutankhamun was Pharaoh Akhenaten, who reigned between 1351 and 1334 BC. This in turn was the husband of Queen Nefertiti, also known, but not Tut’s mother. The evidence shows that his parents were possibly brothers, since the mummies found are related. Tutankhamun would have married his half-sister, Ankhsenpaamon, something common for the time.
curse of the pharaoh
What makes this whole story even more well known is the fact that the treasure contains a “curse”. The myth began to spread shortly after the opening, mainly due to the fact that Lord Carnavon, who was present at the excavation, died in April 1923 of septicemia, following infection from a wound.
Deaths followed. Carter, responsible for the discovery, died of cancer in 1939 at the age of 64. He still hadn’t finished publishing his work on the tomb, despite having spent ten years sorting through the treasure.