Egyptian Museum Collections in Cairo (part3)

Egyptian Museum Collections in Cairo (part3)

Reviewed by: wafaa El-houseiny

Translated by: Nouran Salah Eddin

Egyptian Museum Collections in Cairo(part3)

Augst  31, 2023 - 19:36

By/Zainab Mekky

Egyptian Museum Collections in Cairo ( part 3)

To complement some of the Egyptian Museum Collections, we will move now to the most important exhibited pieces on the 2nd floor which are:

 Tutankhamun’s collection

To start with, the king Tutankhamun is a king from the eighteenth dynasty. He ruled Egypt for nine years. He ascended the throne at the age of nine and died suddenly when he was eighteen years old.

This young king is the son of King Tutankhamun and his wife Kiya. King Tutankhamun married his half-sister “Ankhesenamun” and she bore him two children. However they died before their birth, that is, at the age of six or seven months. King Tut died at the age of eighteen years. After discovering his cemetery and making an X-ray examination, it appears that he was suffering from a tumor in his brain, or may be suffering from a chest disease like tuberculosis.

However, another examination of his body was made in 1968. It appears that there was an injury in his skull. So, maybe he has fallen from a high place or been hit by a sharp weapon.

 Canopic jars

Canopic jars were a kind of special vessels made of pottery or carved from limestone, used in ancient Egypt during the mummification process to keep the organs of mummies. There were four jars, one for each of the following organs: stomach, intestines, lungs, and liver.

The first jar contained the stomach to be Protected by “Neith”, the goddess of creation and haunting. The second contained intestines to be protected by “Selket”, the goddess of protection and scorpions.

The third contained the lungs and was guarded by “ Nephthys”, the goddess of funerals. As for the last, it contained the liver and was guarded by “Isis”, the goddess of motherhood, magician, and fertility.

As for the heart, it was left untouched inside the corpse, because it was the home of the soul. So, it wasn’t placed inside a Canopic vessel.

The guardianship of the gods for the dead represented the strength of the ancient Egyptian relationship with the gods and their strong belief in them. The first known use of the Canopic jar was during the burial of “ Hotep Horus I “, a queen of the fourth dynasty, and during the age of the ancient state, the jars were simple-designed and had plain lids.

By the first medium period, they were more detailed. The previous simple lids were replaced by sculptures depicting human heads. By the beginning of the modern state era, the Canopic jars were changed again to take a religious property depicting heads like the four sons of Horus, to protect the contents of the jar. During the Ptolemaic era, organs were wrapped and placed inside the cemetery alongside the corpse.

 Perfume Vase

It is a unique piece, a vase consisting of four pieces of Alabaster with each other. The vase is surrounded by two gods with two hanging breasts, both named Hapi, which embodied the Nile and its fertility.

Ancient Egyptians loved beautiful perfumes, associated them with the gods, and realized their positive impact on health and well-being.

Perfumes were generally applied in the form of an oil ointment. There are recipes and visuals to prepare perfumes in temples throughout Egypt.

Ancient Egyptians used perfumes only to protect their faces and bodies from the heat of the sun. They also used the Alabaster specifically in making jars because it is too cold and keeps the material well for a long period.

Unfortunately, most of these vases were found empty of contents because they were stolen, however, we found some of these vases untouched.


The Three Couches

The function of these couches mainly is to ensure the safety and revival of the king in the afterlife, as he trusts the power of the sacred animals when he rests on each couch.

These three couches took the form of three sacred animals: a cow, and a lioness, and between each, we can find the hippos, a crocodile’s body, and a part of the lion’s claws.

The first couch: represents a goddess called “Mit wort” who made the great flood. This goddess is represented in the shape of a cow with a head over it surrounded by two horns. The purpose of this couch is the king’s desire to ensure the integrity of the revival of power in his life.

The second couch: it is weird because it is not easy to determine who the goddess is here, as we can see the head taking the form of a composite animal, consisting of a hippo ( head and body), a crocodile tail, lion’s stalk ending with lion’s paws and claws. It mostly represents the goddess “Ammit”.

The third couch: this couch represents the lioness’s eyes studded with rock crystal. The eyelids, bones, and nose are made of blue glass. It represents the goddess “Mit wort” that causes the flood as we mentioned earlier. This is because Egypt was mainly dependent on floods in its irrigation system, and the goddess “Mit wort” must appear in order to cause the flood of the Nile.

Gold Foil Bed

This bed is considered the most artistic and sophisticated bed found inside Tutankhamun’s cemetery. It was fitted with a carved ebony frame and covered with gold foil. Its entourage was formed in the form of a network. The foot plate was divided into three sections, the middle of which was decorated with the symbol “Sma Tawi”. The other two sections carry plant fees.

Gold foils kept scratches from which the explorer inferred the king’s use of this bed during his life.

King Tutankhamun’s Mask

It is a mask discovered by Howard Carter in 1922 at Cemetery 62, and it is now located in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The mask weighs 18 kg of gold, decorated with semi-stones. This mask represents the facial features of King Tutankhamun with his shoulders wearing the Nemes headpiece, the lines are made of blue glass in lazuli tradition. There is an eagle and a cobra snake on the front as a way to protect the king. The eagle is made entirely of gold while its mouth is made of lapis lazuli, and symbolizes sovereignty in upper Egypt. However the cobra’s body is made of a dark blue helmet, and encrusted with turquoise lapis lazuli. It symbolizes sovereignty in lower Egypt.

 His face reflects the vital strength and the king’s youth and represents him in ideals, narrow eyes, and thin nose. We can also see that his eyebrows and eyelids are made of blue glass, and the white part of the eye is made of calcite, however, the cornea is made of volcanic glass stone. The earlobes have been pierced to hold the earrings.

Spells Behind the Mask

There are several columns of hieroglyphs. These inscriptions began as mascots, first appearing on the masks of the Middle Kingdom and later in the Book of the Dead intended to protect the mask, as each part of the mask identified a particular god or a picture of the god.

Keeper statues… Alka… Tutankhamun

These two statues are found in the waiting room, confront each other on either side of the closed entrance to the burial room, and tend slightly as if they were receiving the person entering the room. They are life-size statues of the king which are almost identical except for the type of headgear they wear and the inscriptions on their skirts. The statue on the right is wearing Nemes headpiece, while the statue on the left is wearing the Fent headpiece, which is made of bitumen-coated wood and some gilded parts. The cobra on the forehead is made of golden bronze, and the eyes are studded with calcium carbonate crystallized with calcite for the white part, and for lining for the black part, while the outlines of the eye and eyebrows are bronze gilt.

The statue wears a wide collar of anklets and bracelets. He is grabbing the head of the mace on the one hand, while on the other side there is a long stick of papyrus stems. He is also wearing glided bronze sandals, stepping with the left leg forward. The black color of the floor is kimet, the color of death, and the color of the god Anubis _the guard of the_ both have the same functions.

The two statues carry minor effects of Akhenaten effects like abdominal bloating, relatively thin legs, and pierced ears.

 Golden Sun

This piece was found in the waiting room. It was made of plaster wood and then glided with gold paper.

How it was used?

While the king was walking in the garden of the Royal Palace, his followers held the umbrella, and when he sat they carried it over him.

This umbrella had a control lock to be opened and closed depending on the shade seen by the king. This umbrella was covered with a linen piece to protect the king from sun rays, wind, and rain.

Toy Boxes

In the introduction to chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead, it was described as one of the deceased professions in the other world. In another phrase in the Book of the Dead, it is mentioned that the deceased needed to play the game Senet as a funeral game in his journey in the afterlife from East to West.

It must have a long history because it is sometimes represented in the views on the walls of the cemeteries of the ancient kingdom. The game Senet was played everywhere and at all social levels, for example, King Ramses III appeared on the walls of his palace while playing Senet with his daughter.


Egyptian museum

 The Golden Book of Guided Tour from 293 to 295  and from 299 to 315