The pharaohs of Ancient Egypt were buried with amazing statues, coffins, jewelry, and other items—items that are priceless because of their historic and artistic value, as well as because of the gold, semi-precious stones, and other fine materials they are made of.
Archeologists knew of these fabulous tomb treasures because of the writings of the Ancient Egyptians, and the murals on the inside walls of the tombs—but every tomb that had ever been discovered had been plundered of its treasure long, long ago, in ancient times, and so most of the precious items that should have been there were long gone.
Until November of 1922, that is. That is the year when Howard Carter and his team of archeologists opened the first almost-intact pharaoh's tomb ever discovered. The pharaoh, of course, was King Tutankhamun. And on this date in 1923, Carter opened King Tut's Burial Chamber.
Tut's tomb was packed with all manner of things—from garlands of flowers that Carter photographed, but which disintegrated when touched, to the king's granite sarcophagus, which contained three mummiform (mummy-shaped) coffins, including one made of pure gold! Tut's body was buried with fabulous jewelry. There was also a treasury filled with funerary and ritual items such as a statue of Anubis, the jackal-headed god of afterlife, and model boats and chariots.
It took a decade of work for Carter's team to catalog and take everything out of the tomb! The treasury alone stored 2,010 pieces, together worth almost $50 billion, and that doesn't count the golden coffins and that most famous solid-gold funerary mask!
Check out this virtual tour of King Tut's tomb.
See some of the incredible, precious items found in King Tut's tomb on this website and in this video.
Read more about the discovery of this incredible archeological find.
Watch some National Geographic videos about King Tut. Here is one – warning, it gets upsetting and gross near the end!
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