3,300-year-old mask of King Tut needs its beard fixed
3,300-year-old mask of King Tut needs its beard fixed German restorers Christian Eckmann, right, and Katja Broschat examine the famed golden mask of King Tutankhamun as an Egyptian-German team begins restoration work over a year after the beard was accidentally broken off and hastily glued back with epoxy, at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
3,300-year-old mask of King Tut needs its beard fixed
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Restorers have put their work on the famed golden burial mask of King Tutankhamun on display in Cairo.  This comes over a year after the beard was accidentally knocked off and glued back on with epoxy.
 
A German-Egyptian team of experts showed off the mask Oct. 20 in a laboratory in the Egyptian Museum. The experts described plans for how the epoxy will be scraped off. The beard will be carefully removed before being reattached. The repair method will be determined by a joint scientific committee.
 
Christian Eckmann is the lead restoration specialist. He said the work should take a month or two. It will depend on how long it takes to remove the beard. The beard will be attached after research into how the mask and beard attachment were originally made and joined.
 
"We have some uncertainties now. We don't know how deep the glue went inside the beard. And so we don't know how long it will take to remove the beard," he said on the sidelines of a news conference. The conference was held with Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty and Tarek Tawfik, director-general of the still-under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum. It is near the pyramids.
 
"We try to make all the work by mechanical means ... we use wooden sticks which work quite well at the moment.  Then there is another strategy we could implement, slightly warming up the glue," he said. "It's unfortunately epoxy resin, which is not soluble."
 
A museum employee knocked the beard off.  It happened during work on the relic's lighting in August 2014. It was hastily reattached with epoxy. When the error was revealed in January, the Antiquities Ministry called a press conference. Eckmann said he and an Egyptian team could fix the epoxy-job. They believe permanent damage can be avoided.
 
The 3,300-year-old pharaonic mask was discovered in Tutankhamun's tomb along with other artifacts by British archeologists in 1922. The discovery sparked worldwide interest in archaeology and ancient Egypt.
 
It is arguably the best-known piece in the museum. It is one of Cairo's main tourist sites. It was built in 1902. The museum houses ancient Egyptian artifacts and mummies.
 
Eckmann said that during the restoration, experts would conduct a detailed study of the mask's ancient manufacture technique that had not been done previously. The goal is to determine what materials and techniques were used.
 
"We are using this chance to gain new information about the manufacture," he said.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/3300-year-old-mask-king-tut-needs-its-beard-fixed/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why can't experts be certain about all aspects of the repair?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (132)
  • owens1213-cam
    10/29/2015 - 05:12 p.m.

    wow. who made the super clumsy mistake of taking the beard off. toooooootally an acciddent

  • caymanm-2-bar
    10/29/2015 - 09:31 p.m.

    The experts aren't certain about all aspects of the repair because they aren't sure what materials were used on the mask and the techniques used. The article states that during the restoration, the experts will conduct a study on the mask's ancient manufacture technique. "The goal is to find what materials and techniques were used," they said. I thought this article was interesting because I didn't know that a worker knocked off the beard of King Tut's mask.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    10/29/2015 - 09:41 p.m.

    I think this is bad news because the restoration team has to figure out a way to fix the beard of King Tutankhamen's mask. They have to figure out a way to put the beard back on without damaging anything else. It must be a hard job to do.
    Why can't experts be certain about all aspects of the repair?
    Answer: Experts can't be certain about all aspects of the repair because the mask is so old. You need to be careful on what you do all the time.

  • laurenh-612-
    10/30/2015 - 08:46 a.m.

    This is because, they might have not worked with a situation like this before, so they are not quite certain what results might come out of the process.

  • willb-612-
    10/30/2015 - 08:49 a.m.

    Experts can not know how to put the beard on because they may never know how or what they used because it was a long time and we do not know what they had to use.

  • rachelh-612-
    10/30/2015 - 08:54 a.m.

    The experts aren't very sure, because they have a lot of unanswered questions, and that leaves us to wonder. A few of these questions include, who was the employee that accidentally knocked off the beard? How much glue did they put on? Is the employee going to be punished? They aren't certain because of unsolved questions, which need to be answered soon.

  • isabellaa-612-
    10/30/2015 - 08:56 a.m.

    I thought it was bad that the beard was knocked off but it was cool how they had to put the beard pack on a certain way.

  • anahaip-612-
    10/30/2015 - 08:57 a.m.

    This teaches us about how scientist worked on removing a beard and how it is on display in Cario. They also said that they were going to study the manufactures of the mask.

  • waverlyb-612-
    10/30/2015 - 08:57 a.m.

    I think the reason the experts can not be certain about every aspect of the repair is because they don't know how long it will take to finish the repair and how much damage the epoxy created to the beard.

  • kinseyc-612-
    10/30/2015 - 08:59 a.m.

    It is a 3,300 year old mummy it could break any time and if they try to repair it more in the future then it could break and what if the glue isn't strong enough is another question.

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