Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, January 14, 2011

I have previously reported that Tutankhamiun's tomb will not be re-opening and instead tourists will be encoraged to visit a replica recreated near the Carter House.  Details of the replica tomb are now starting to emerge and excitingly it will recreate the decoration of the tomb as it was found in 1922/23.  As The Art Newspaper reports, (with picture) a missing relief of Isis will be restored.  The replica is being created by Factum Arte and the director says:



Included in the facsimile will be a lost “Isis” fragment known only from a photograph taken by Harry Burton shortly after Carter’s discovery of the tomb in 1922. The 1.8m x 1.4m fragment is from the southeast corner of the Throne Room. The photograph, now at Oxford’s Griffith Institute, shows that Carter had carefully removed the fragment and placed it in a wooden box filled with bran. “It’s most likely in a storeroom in Egypt,” said Lowe, who consulted several Egyptologists when creating the colour copy. “The aim of this type of reconstruction of missing parts of important sites is to focus attention on the biography and movement of things—once an object becomes the focus of attention new information about it normally emerges. In this case, I am hoping [the fragment] might be found,” said Lowe.
Check the link above for more details and a picture.

If you are interested in the work that Factum Arte has been doing on the replica tomb, then I recommend the coverage on the Factum Arte site, which has a video you can watch as well. The page gives some more information about the location of the Isis scene. If I read the page correctly, they are also recontructing one or more broken seals.

11 comments:

Vincent said...

"Carter had carefully removed the fragment and placed it in a wooden box filled with bran. "

How interesting. I've never heard of this being done before but it makes sense to use bran for packaging fragile artifacts. A bit like a natural form of those little polystyrene balls we use today.

Is there any other evidence of archaeologists using bran in this way?

Kate Phizackerley said...

Bran would have the advantage of also acting as a dehimidifier (if suitably dry to start with) which could give it an advantage over polystyrene.

I'd not heard that the scene had beem removed!

John Bright said...

There are, or have been, 2 replica burial chambers already: one in Dorchester at the Tutankhamen Museum there, the other one was created for the Tutankhamen exhibition held in Basle, Switzerland. This latter is no longer on display. I have visited both but cannot remember if they restored the whole wall. There is also a projected replica of the tomb of Seti I.
Natural materials were used a great deal in early archaeology for conservation. Petrie used tapioca (shades of Fifties school dinners!) to conserve paintings at Amarna, Weigall used paraffin wax to stabilize the KV55 bones (Carter also used this) and I seem to recall reading that mulberry paper was used on other wall paintings.

Stephanie said...

Something a bit different, I wonder what will happen to Tut`s mummy should the real tomb really be closed.
Has anyone heard if the mummy is intended to be left in the original tomb (rather unlikely), to be transferred to the replica tomb or to the brand new Grand Museum?

Kate Phizackerley said...

I believe a replica coffin is intended for the replica tomb and I am pretty sure the mummy won't be transferred there.

I suspect many would like to move it to the museum to attract vistors (separate ticket?), but there is a lot of sentiment about his mummy so I suspect it will be left in KV62 for now.

Anonymous said...

For a long while, Tutankhamen's body remained sealed within the outer sarcophagus as Howard Carter had left it. He became the sole king to remain in his original tomb. He should now be left in peace.

Anonymous said...

Amen

Kate Phizackerley said...

I think many of us feel that way.

rymerster said...

There also used to be a replica of Tut's tomb inside the Luxor casino in Las Vegas. It was very impressive, intended to be a replica of the tomb as found by Carter. I have to say, I looked very closely and the replicas looked perfect, even the familiar damage/erosion on many pieces was what you would expect. The burial chamber was, I recall, with the shrines intact, so you did not see replica coffins or a replica mummy. Films were shown of the coffins. I was there in 2003 I think and the exhibit closed a couple of years later when the casino was remodelled. Rather chilling, a gambler killed himself by jumping off a high balcony just before I got there and bounced down off the fake temple pylon near the "tomb". Had an ice-cream and a clearly shocked seller went to great pains to describe the scene in detail. Apologies for the digression!

rymerster said...

OK, my memory must be playing tricks - here are some pics of the Vegas exhibition:
http://www.egyptholiday.com/tutankhamun/

John Bright said...

The Romantic in me hopes that the KV21 lady related to the two foetuses is indeed Ankhsenamen. If so, it would be fitting to transfer her and the babies to KV62 and to leave them in their "House of Eternity" undisturbed.

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