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'The Discovery of King' Tut opens in Union Station

The Discovery of King Tut opened to the public on Friday April 4 at the Union Station in Kansas City. The exhibit is the North American premiere of over a 1,000 artifacts taken from the tomb of the boy king. From 1961 to 1965 30 artifacts toured North America, including the famous death mask. The exhibit is a replica of the antiquities, which no longer can travel out of Egypt.

The chariot of King Tut.
The chariot of King Tut.
Photos by Steve Wilson
The death mask of King Tut.
Photo by Steve Wilson

Tutankhamun reigned as the child king in a period of social turmoil over the ruling of his father Akhenaten. Akhenaten outlawed the old religions and commanded only a single deity be worshiped in all of Egypt. Tutankhamun, the son of the heretic king, was able to restore order to the country, but later kings had his name and references to him erased.

In 1922 archeologist, Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Though tomb robbers preceded Clark to Tut’s burial site, his tomb was found in tact. The burial vault has four large doors, overlaid with gold, protecting the mummy of the young king.

The Discovery of King Tut reflects the moment of the tomb’s discovery, several of the exhibits are laid out exactly as Carter, and his team found them. Many of the exhibits have a number next to them, which is accessed on a control device that spectators receive as they enter the exhibit.

The exhibit begins with a short video that tells of the discovery of the tomb and its contents. At the end of the video, the actual item display begins. Several rooms await the spectators as they pass through the corridors. The treasury room is laden with boxes of jewels and replicas of gods designed to protect the king’s burial spot.

The burial vault was untouched until the discovery by Carter. Inside the chamber, Carter found the four shrines and Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus that are presented in a separate display in the large exhibit room. Beautiful painted walls depicting gods and the boy king surrounded the chamber.

Entering the exhibit room the first item to attract the attention of the spectators is the replica of Tut’s body incased in glass. Throughout the display area are statues and figurines of Tut, ritual helpers, and the gods of Egypt. The death mask of the king and his golden throne are displayed alone.

Everyday items such as jewelry, children’s games, shoes and others fill the cases located in the exhibit room. Near the end of the room is the royal chariot, gold inlayed, that the pharaoh would have ridden in.

The Discover of King Tut remains on display at the Union Station through September 7, 2014.

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