Facts on Tutankhamun's tomb

Specialists believe two rooms might be hidden inside the tomb of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, which was built some 3,300 years ago in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Here are key facts about the site.

Untouched treasure

In November 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb along with its treasure of more than 5,000 objects, many in solid gold. The tomb was nearly intact and it took Carter six years to excavate, with funding from Britain's Lord George Carnarvon.

The treasure was laid out in five rooms and included thrones, statues, furniture and arms.

The walls of the chamber in which Tutankhamun lay were covered in gold, and his coffin was a three-piece sarcophagus of which the outermost was in red quartzite and the innermost was 110 kilograms (240 pounds) of solid gold.

The pharaoh, who died in 1324 BC at the age of 19, had a funeral mask that was also made from gold, inlaid with lapis lazuli.

Its eyes were made of obsidian and quartz. The mask has become one of the world's most widely-recognized Egyptian artifacts.

It took Carter 10 years to complete his exploration of the tomb and catalogue the thousands of objects that he found.

Lord Carnarvon died In April 1923 in mysterious circumstances, fuelling speculation that the fabled "curse of the pharaohs" had struck one of those responsible for violating "King Tut's" tomb.

A child pharaoh

The discovery made Tutankhamun, who died after just nine years on the throne, one of Egypt's best-known pharaohs.

In 2010, a study of DNA tests and CT scans concluded that he suffered from an often-fatal form of malaria and a club foot that caused him to walk with a cane.

Tutankhamun's reign coincided with a troubled time in Egyptian history known as the Amarna period, during which the pharaoh Akhenaten tried to radically transform religion to focus on just one god, Aton.

The DNA tests showed that Tutankhamun was Akhenaten's son, but not that of Nefertiti, an influential wife of the pharaoh celebrated for her beauty.

In fact, his mother is now believed to have been Akhenaten's sister.

Tutankhamun sired two children, both girls, but they died in the womb, the study found.

King Tut's mummy is now on display in Luxor.

What's in the two rooms?

Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamduh al-Damati told reporters Thursday that preliminary scans of Tutankhamun's tomb revealed "two hidden rooms behind the burial chamber" of the boy king that appeared to contain "some organic and metal material".

British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves believes that Nefertiti's tomb might be in a secret chamber adjoining that of King Tut.

© 2016 AFP

Citation: Facts on Tutankhamun's tomb (2016, March 17) retrieved 24 September 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2016-03-facts-tutankhamun-tomb.html
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