B. Summary of Evidence (500-600 words) [Tips]


On the 4th of November 1922, workers who were digging in the Valley of the Kings, under the orders of British archaeologist Howard Carter, came across the stone steps that led to the entrance of Tutankhamen’s tomb. The initial discovery was unusual because they noted that the tomb was still sealed, which was the first of its kind, as it meant that it hadn’t been emptied by tomb robbers. “Carter felt instinctively that something out of the ordinary had happened.”[1] The significance of the tomb being still sealed is that it let the archaeologists learn more about ancient Egyptian wealth and culture as all of the treasure and art work remained with the king; this captured the world’s attention because it meant that they could actually see artefacts which were thousands of years old and not just read about them in stories from hieroglyphics, “the interior of the chamber gradually loomed… with its strange and wonderful medley of extraordinary and beautiful objects.” -An extract from Carter’s original notes.[2] Some of the items found gave an idea to the craftsmanship and engineering skills in ancient Egypt such as Tutankhamen’s beds which were very similar in design of the beds we use today “A headrest would have been used instead of a pillow, and the rectangular board at one end of the bed is a foot-board (not a head-board as in modern beds).”[3] Other items found such as The King’s Mannequin[4] which was made of wood was not only “a very life-like representation of the king” but it also it showed practicality merged with artistic skill as it is speculated that the mannequin was used to display the king’s garments to him. Another significant artefact was Tutankhamen’s solid gold burial mask which was found covering his head and shoulders, “Made of solid gold, inlaid with semi-precious stones and coloured glass paste, the face is an idealised portrait of the young king.”[5] The Gold mask was not only an excellent example of ancient Egyptian artistry but an example of ingenuity of the goldsmith. While the untouched collection of artwork and treasure unveiled the wealth of the Ancient Society at the time, there was also a large collection of funerary equipment; this “was very useful to Egyptologists, giving them an idea of what had been removed from other royal tombs.”[6] The archaeologists also found out more about the Pharaoh himself; scientists have found that the mummy was only nineteen and from what is know from the literature and hieroglyphics that Tutankhamen took to the throne when he was ten so he only had a sort reign of about nine years. More recently it has been discovered the cause of the young Pharaoh’s death “A DNA study revealed today the 19-year-old died from complications from a broken leg that was exacerbated by malaria.”[7]


[1]H. V. F. Winstone, (2007). Howard Carter and the Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun. Barzan Publishing (ISBN: 1905521057).
[2] H. V. F. Winstone, (2007). Howard Carter and the Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun. Barzan Publishing (ISBN: 1905521057).
[3]http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/egyptians/tutankhamun_gallery_03.shtml Robert Partridge

Last updated 2011-02-17
[4]http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/egyptians/tutankhamun_gallery_07.shtml Robert Partridge

Last updated 2011-02-17
[5]http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/egyptians/tutankhamun_gallery_08.shtml Robert Partridge

Last updated 2011-02-17
[6] http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/tutt.htm Mark Andrews Last updated on June 13th 2011
[7] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1251476/King-Tutankhamun-died-broken-leg-worse-malaria.html unknown authorLast updated at 12:06 PM on 17th February 2010