The discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922 by Howard Carter and his archaeological team was highly significant due to the intact nature of the tomb. Entering the tomb, the team found four gilded shrines – one nested within the next in order of decreasing size, much like Russian nesting dolls.
Inside of the innermost shrine were three coffins in the shape of a human body, painted with the likeness of the deceased pharaoh mummified within. The paintings allowed the deceased to have a face in the afterlife, making them highly important in the Egyptian religion. Along with the painted likeness of King Tut, the sarcophagi had paintings of other deities along with other adornments, showing the prevalence and prestige of the ruler. Inside of the three coffins laid the preserved body of the king along with his famous golden death mask.
The third, innermost coffin held King Tut’s mummy, covered with an ornate mask and other trappings of his status. Source: Theodor Oskar Krath/R. Boyer
The Outer Coffin
King Tutankhamun’s outer coffin measures 2.24 meters (7.35 ft.) long and its head is positioned to the west. The coffin rests on a low bier that shockingly survived 3,200 years under the strain of the one and a quarter tonne weight of the sarcophagi. The lid and the base were covered in rishi, a feather decoration executed in low relief.
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