Tutankhamun: His Tomb and his Treasures in Korea

Tutankhamun is ending his time in Korea in a couple weeks. The pharaoh, unknown to the world prior to the discovery of his tomb in 1922, came to Korea about four months ago. King Tut was born in 1341 BC in the Armana Age and took the thrown from his father pharaoh Akhenaten around 1333 BC when he was still a child and reigned for 9 years.

The exhibit, though stocked with reconstructed originals, offers a great chance to see the tomb as it was originally discovered by Howard Carter. The first room of the exhibit has information about where the tomb was, why it was so difficult to unearth and the story behind how Howard Carter working with the money provided by Lord Carnarvon, found the tomb. The second room the crowd is directed into has a short film in English with Korean subtitles about the discovery, prepping you for the following rooms filled with the goods found inside the tomb.

The following room shows what Carter saw after he descended the 11 steps into the tomb and broke his way through the first door. After the first room of treasures, which the audio guide spends more than enough time explaining, there’s yet another and another, which seems to be set up in similar fashion to the layout that Carter and his team found the original tomb. King Tut was buried in four large coffins/boxes one inside the other with intricate designs and gold leaf on the outside. Inside of those were still more coffins, though these weren’t shaped as boxes, instead taking on the shape of his body. The gold gets shinier and dazzling through the tour and you can’t almost imagine how Carter and his team must have felt upon finding the riches within the tomb.

The final room produces still more of what was inside of this expansive tomb that had not been raided by thieves like the rest discovered prior to it. They show and explain how his body was mummified and his organs were taken out to be placed in marble boxes to be saved. How figurines of servants, one for every day, yet somehow there were only 6, were placed in there for his afterlife. His thrown, chariot, and even gold sandals and finger and two gloves are on display. The exhibit is definitely something to check out if there’s is time and the audio guides, though lengthy in explanation and dotted with odd random comments here and there, offer insight to anyone interested in King Tut and his natural… or unnatural death taking him to his tomb.

Where: Gwacheon National Science Museum

When: Through February 26, 2012

Getting There: Seoul Grand Park Station, Line 4, Exit 5 (straight out the exit)

Cost: W12,000 for adults

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