05 November 2007

The face of Tutankhamun


This really is one of those “Wow” moments for me: the true face of Tutankhamun was revealed yesterday when it went on display to the general public.. The actual face of the 19-year-old monarch was put on view in his underground tomb at Luxor. Naturally the face is shrivelled and leather-like from the embalming process but the features are clearly visible: King Tut’s face clearly displays the "overbite" which was characteristic of the Thurmosid royal line to which Tutankhamun belonged.


The display comes at the end of a two-year restoration of the mummy itself, which was badly damaged by Carter and his staff when they removed the death mask and other jewels decorating the body. The restoration, supervised by Egypt's head of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, is intended to protect the mummy for the future as there are fears that its condition is deteriorating with mass tourism and the large number of visitors to the tomb. "The humidity and heat caused by people entering the tomb and their breathing will change the mummy to a powder," said Dr Hawass. "The only good thing [left] in this mummy is the face. We need to preserve the face."


The mummy will remain in the tomb indefinitely and tourists will begin viewing the mummy today. The Egyptian tourism industry is hoping to capitalise on the interest and draw tourists to Luxor to see something they couldn't find elsewhere. Dr Hawass put it this way: "Everyone is dreaming of what he looks like. The face of Tutankhamun is different from any king in the Cairo museum. With his beautiful buck teeth, the tourists will see a little bit of the smile from the face of the golden boy,"


Interestingly two years ago scientists carried out facial reconstructions of Tutankhamun based on scans of his skull. This was one of the images produced

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

ol' Tut looks like a shaved Anjelica Houston- my eyes...they burn! Awww, my 'WOW' moment caused temporary blindness....

Jen

Alison said...

I certainly thought 'wow' when I heard about it, then saw him, but am I the only person that said 'ick' when they saw his dodgy feet?

jams o donnell said...

Haha a blindness akin to Al Bundy's every time he saw Marcy in a state of undress, Jen? Anjelica Houston... hmmm!

Lol Alison, it has been a long time since he had the chance to stick on the old veruca paste!

Liz said...

He looks so young. Unlike the reconstruction that makes him look like Boy George.

Roger B. said...

I don't suppose I'm the only person who is confused about the ethnicity of the Ancient Egyptians. In recent years they have been portrayed as Arabic, European and African... but which, if any, is correct? Surely DNA analysis has solved this riddle.

jams o donnell said...

That's true Liz but they did like their eye makeup.

I'm not sure what the genetic make up of the Pharoahs is Roger. The Ptolemies were almost certainly Macedonian. I must see what work has been done on it

Colin Campbell said...

I am happy to just look at the photograph. Interesting about the teeth.

jams o donnell said...

I've looked at this again and to be honest he looks like Dwayne Dibley!

jmb said...

I think this is truly wonderful and I would love to go to that tomb. Isn't forensic face reconstruction great? It makes him seem like a real young man who lived and died tragically so young.

jams o donnell said...

My later joke aside, it really is wonderful jmb. I would love to go to teh tomg too. Still there's the exhibition to see (I saw a similar one at teh British Museum about 35 years ago.