Saatchi Gallery for the exhibition – Tutankhamun Treasures of the Golden Pharoah
It was a bright sunny day and we were able to enjoy and appreciate the London buildings as we moved slowly in the traffic. The streets were however remarkably empty of people with the travel restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus situation already affecting tourism.
Staged to celebrate almost 100 years of the tomb discovery (1922), some of the artefacts on display had not been out of Egypt before. Everything was well documented and because many exhibits were in central display cabinets, it was possible to walk around them and get quite close. Information was given above the displays and in several places short videos enhanced the understanding of the artefacts.
When the tomb was opened and Howard Carter saw the extent of the contents he must have been totally overwhelmed. Over 5,000 beautiful, richly coloured and decorated artefacts had been buried with the 19 year old king when he died to accompany him on his journey to the afterlife. These included a solid gold coffin, face mask, thrones, archery bows, trumpets, a lotus chalice, food, wine, sandals, and fresh linen underwear. The exhibition told the story of this journey.
Servants were in attendance and there were large containers which held food for the journey. There were bows and arrows, so he was prepared for attack. Many small icons were buried with him and the most beautiful gold and colourful jewellery. Chests were decorated with hieroglyphs and one of the final exhibits was the sarcophagus.
It was an exhibition which showed a wealth of opulence and beauty. It was difficult to comprehend that these artefacts were over 4.000 years old and yet the craftsmanship was intricate and exceptional. It was a truly memorable visit.