Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Monday, February 16, 2009

A small (12cm) statue of Tutankhamun was reportedly found about 500Km north of Baghdad last week. There are sketchy news reports if you are really interested.

UPDATE: this has now been confirmed as a fake


styler78 said...

Has enyone seen any pictures of this ststue yet? If so, can you post them on here. Would be interesteing to see

Kate Phizackerley said...

There is an image here but I'm not certain whether it is what was found. This also reports the size as 5cm, not 12cm as I first thought.

Andie Byrne also links to an article with 3 pictures.

Although the two sites show the same statue, like Andie I am a bit dubious. However, if they are genuine then it's a fine piece.


Anonymous said...

If these are actual photos of the statue, then that statue is fake.

It is a souvenir, and the discovery involves some sort of hoax (I am reminded of the swiss ring watch recently 'found' in an ancient chinese tomb).

Think about it: Why would an ancient egyptian craftsman represent a pharaoh by such a carving? It makes no sense at all, as I will explain.

A meaningful representation of a pharaoh in the form of a statue would show him in entirety, displaying his regalia and expressing his power, or divinity or 'kingness'. Or it could show him in a religious context in the form of Osiris or another god, or as ushabti. Partial 'bust' portraits are of course known (Nefertiti as most famous example) but are generally interpreted as models, or as fragments or discarded. In this case we have the depiction of not the pharaoh himself, but the display of an artifact on a pedestal, his golden death mask.

The world famous golden death mask is only famous to US, TODAY, because Howard Carter discovered it in the last century, and it traveled around the world in exhibitions. The only ancient egyptians who ever saw it were Tut's closest family members (and that is not even sure), the priests who performed the funeral ceremonies, and the jewellers who created it.

An alabaster(?) statue of that death mask would have had no inherent meaning to anyone in antiquity.

Therefore it is a modern souvenir.

Even if one tried to defend this object by trying to interpret it as a 'bust' portrait of the living pharaoh, it would be a HUGE stretch requiring a lot of gullibility.

IMHO, of course.

rymerster said...

Hi Kate, I have definitely seen similar on sale.

There's no way that is a genuine artifact; look at the subject - Tut's gold mask! In the AE they never made effigies of a funerary mask. If it were a small statuette or even part of a statuette I'd be more impressed.

Anonymous said...

Looks fake to me too, looks like modern souvenir version of gold mask. Wouldn't class it as a statue either but a bust. Hopefully these photos don't show what was actually found & genuine photos come to light.

Anonymous said...

Looking at photo don't think it does show actual statue found have just read article linked here and it says figure is 'covered in Hieroglyphic inscriptions' and 'whole body is intact'. Picture shown has no hieroglyphic inscriptions showing at all & is not a 'whole body'

Kate Phizackerley said...

My orgiginal post on this was so low key because sources reporting the find aren't all that convincing. Although there are many sites covering the story, they seem to all be re-posts of a single original - and I am not evem certain which site that is.


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