It was 108 degrees in the shade, and our 8 year old son Moses (yes...his name is Moses) had to wait behind in the bus because it was actually dangerous to be out and about in such heat. My family was visiting Egypt, and we had traveled by barge to the Valley of the Kings, to visit young Tut. He had recently been returned safely to his tomb after a team of French and Canadian researchers had done modern forensic exams on the mummy, with the permission of the Department of Antiquities.
Descending the 16 steps to the interior, as Howard Carter did in 1922, I couldn't help but notice how small and comparatively drab the the tomb was. Having recently been inside the tomb of Ramses the 3rd, which was as large as an American shopping mall, every inch of the walls painted brightly...the four rooms of Tut's tomb were cramped, and only the burial chamber with Tut's sarcophagus was brightly painted. The 18 or 19 year old pharaoh, who died suddenly and mysteriously to end the 18th Dynasty, was clearly tucked away in a hurry!
Though hot and somewhat claustrophobic, I couldn't help but feeling a bit emotional, as I thought of the young man..who, at the age of 9, suddenly became a living god, only to pass away in the full bloom of love and life just a few years later, interred by the man...whose figure was painted vividly on the walls about the chamber...the man who may well have brought about his untimely death; the Pharaoh Ay.
To buy tickets or learn more about Tut go to www.nymf.org/tut or call 212-352-3101 .
Photos credit: Jeff Larkin