King Tut replicas visit Museum of Natural History

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Following stops in museums in such locales as Seoul, Amsterdam, Berlin, Geneva, Paris, Munich, and Prague, the eagerly-anticipated exhibition of “The Discovery of King Tut” arrived at Balboa Park’s San Diego Natural History Museum last Saturday.

Tutankhamun was the 12th king of the 18th dynasty in Egypt. He had been born circa 1341 B.C, became the king on his ninth birthday in 1332 B.C. and died ten years later. His tomb and remains were apparently untouched for almost 3,000 years, until a British archaeologist named Howard Carter began a quest to find Tut’s final resting place.tut2

Starting around the turn of the 20th century, Carter spent 20+ years searching in remote areas for the fabled tomb of Tut. It was widely believed at the time that all of the valuable and scientifically significant finds of Egyptian rulers had either been looted by thieves over the millennia or discovered by scientific expeditions. Finally, in 1922, Howard Carter and his searcher found the tomb in Luxor, creating a world-wide sensation and a renewed interest in ancient Egypt.

Carter initially discovered an antechamber that had been disturbed and sacked by thieves many years prior. However, Carter found an entrance behind a wall that lead to other, untouched chambers. Inside the most inner of the sanctums was the discovery of the centuries, the sarcophagus made of stone, inside of which were three coffins within each other. In the smallest, solid gold coffin was the mummified remains of King Tut.

tut3In the current showing that travels around the world, all of the exhibits are replicas of the actual items found by Carter. The original artifacts, including the King’s mummy are much too fragile to travel, and are no longer allowed to be moved from their location in Egypt. The duplicates have all be constructed by Egyptian specialists in the time period, and are as exact as possible.tut4

Some highlights are the golden mask from Tut’s face, gold sandals, finger coverings and a reconstruction of his body. There is a separate fee for entering the Tut exhibition, after buying admission to the museum. For this month of October, visitors under 12 years old accompanied by an adult who has paid full price get a discount on the price of the Tut show, or free admission to the museum. The King Tut display opened on Saturday, October 11, 2014 and will be in San Diego until April 26, 2015. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

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