King Tut's mask back on display after botched repair fixed German restorer Christian Eckmann examines the beard of the golden mask of the famed King Tutankhamun. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
King Tut's mask back on display after botched repair fixed
Lexile

Egypt has put the famed golden burial mask of King Tutankhamun back on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo after the relic was repaired following a botched attempt to reattach the mask's beard with epoxy.
 
In August 2014, the beard was accidentally knocked off during work on the relic's lightening, after which workers hastily tried to reattach it with epoxy, causing damage to the priceless artifact and stirring uproar among archaeologists.
 
A German-Egyptian team began restoration work on the mask in October. Egypt's Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said the reattachment came after studies explored the best materials to use for the work.
 
"We indeed found them to be the natural materials which the ancient Egyptian used; they are still the best tools: beeswax," el-Damaty told reporters in Cairo on Dec. 16. "It was prepared well and the beard was attached very successfully."
 
Christian Eckmann, the lead restoration specialist, said removing the mask, which took two weeks, "was done exclusively by mechanical means."
 
"We used wooden tools, spatulas, other wooden instruments. In addition, we slightly warmed up the adhesive," he said.
 
The 3,300-year-old pharaonic mask was discovered in Tutankhamun's tomb along with other artifacts by British archeologists in 1922, sparking worldwide interest in archaeology and ancient Egypt.
 
The mask is arguably the best-known piece in the museum, one of Cairo's main tourist sites, which was built in 1902 and houses ancient Egyptian artifacts and mummies.
 
Lately, King Tut has been at the focus of new archaeology and media buzz after British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves theorized that Tutankhamun, who died at the age of 19, may have been rushed into an outer chamber of what was originally Queen Nefertiti's tomb.
 
Famed for her beauty, Nefertiti was the subject of a famous 3,300-year-old bust. Her tomb was never found and Reeves speculates that it could lie in a hidden chamber behind King Tut's tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why might King Tut have been rushed into someone else’s tomb?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (34)
  • EH-Fuh
    1/05/2016 - 11:57 a.m.

    He might have been rushed into someone elses tomb because he was so young.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    1/06/2016 - 09:55 p.m.

    I think that it is great that the restoration team and the scientists reattached the bear of King Tut's tomb. The tomb was very important and the beard was broken when it was accidentally knocked off during work on the relic's lightening. People spent a lot of time and effort trying to finish the work and they tried to put it back on by using materials like epoxy and wooden tools. The tomb is successfully fixed. Nicholas Reeves believes that King Tut might have been rushed into an outer chamber of what was originally Queen Neffertiti's. I think that this might have happened because King Tut died at a young age and needed a lot of blessing and hope.

  • briannec-ste
    1/07/2016 - 07:41 p.m.

    That would be so frustrating to have been the owner of the artifact when it broke. but so stressful to have had to fix it.

  • brooklynk-fel
    2/03/2016 - 02:11 p.m.

    King Tut might have been rushed into someone else's tomb because he died suddenly when he was very young, so they may not have had a tomb prepared for him.

  • coled-fel
    2/03/2016 - 02:11 p.m.

    CTQ: King Tut might have been rushed into someone else's tomb because he died at a young age, thus them not knowing he was going to die.

  • garretta-fel
    2/03/2016 - 02:12 p.m.

    King Tut may have been rushed into someones else's tomb because people may have wanted him to be buried quickly and not have a funeral for him.

  • jacih-fel
    2/03/2016 - 02:12 p.m.

    He might have been rushed into someone elses tomb because he was so young and did not have his own.

  • lucasp-fel
    2/03/2016 - 02:12 p.m.

    he was rushed into the tomb because he died too early

  • johnj-fel
    2/03/2016 - 02:12 p.m.

    King Tut might have been rushed into someone else's tomb because he died quickly and unexpectedly therefore making his tomb un-complete.

  • lances-fel
    2/03/2016 - 02:13 p.m.

    King Tut might have been rushed into someone else's tomb because they might have wanted him to buried quickly and not want him found.

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