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Tutankhamun's Tomb Essay

1133 words - 5 pages

Explain what the contents of Tutankhamun's tomb demonstrate the role of the king in New Kingdom Egypt.

In the New Kingdom, the pharaoh was central to Egyptian life and culture therefore the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings was siginificant for understanding the New Kingdom of Egypt. As the living incarnation of Horus, the King played a significant role maintaining ma'at in the New Kingdom. Hennessey suggests that the King can be seen as an "all conquering Egyptian king" whom fulfilled the role of hunter, administrator, warrior and mediator with gods. Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922 provides some insight into the role of king in New Kingdom ...view middle of the document...

" Another piece of evidence that was found in the tomb was the Wooden War Chest in which Carter's description seems to glorify the object, "the paintings on the casket's lid are wonderfully spirited. Here we have hunting scenes full of the sense of speed and movement." The wooden chest depicts various hunting scenes and on the end of the box the king is represented in lion form, conquering enemies. In this way it can be seen that there is quite a substantial amount of evidence to show Tutankhamun's role as king and the contents of his tomb prove this. Scenes of war are present in many artefacts in the tomb and display him as being victorious over all enemies, which was an essential part of royal propaganda. The boy-king in this light was glorified as a hunter however some experience is likely as the bows he was buried with show signs of use providing evidence that he had experience.

The king's role as administrator was supported by a large bureaucracy and many officials and its main ideal was to provided nourishment and life for the land and its population. There is however limited evidence to show the king as administrator in Tutankhamun's tomb therefore historians have provided supposition to argue his administrative role. The 2 daggers of the king did not use local materials in its construction therefore the native blade implies there is strong trade in Egypt. This trade is a reflection of good administration by Tutankhamun or the bureaucracy supporting his reign. The grain jars also discovered in the tomb shows organisation and administration, this storage of the grain is representative of what will be needed in the afterlife and therefore Tutankhamun is still maintaining this nourishment for the people. Tutankhamun's role as administrator can also be seen in the Golden Throne, each arm of the chair depicts a winged cobra wearing the double crown which contains hieroglyphics for 'Upper and Lower Egypt'. This shows Tutankhamun as a symbol of power and authority and also displays his administrative power.

The king's role as warrior was to be the protector of Egypt which was important to the Egyptian people. There is not a huge amount of evidence to prove Tutenkahmun's role as warrior however various contents of the tomb...

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