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 The beard will be attached after research into how the mask and beard attachment were originally made and joined.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)
  • jeysong-612-
    10/30/2015 - 08:59 a.m.

    This article is magnificent. If experts can see how the mummy was manufactured, then archaeologists around the world could know what the ancient egyptians used to build the sarcophagus.

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

    The experts can not be certain with all aspects of the repair because there are many possibilities. They are not sure how deep the epoxy went into the beard, so that was certainly an obstacle. With that, they had no idea how long it would take to remove the beard! They have reasons to be uncertain, and possibly even worried!

  • jocelync-612-
    10/30/2015 - 09:00 a.m.

    Experts can't be certain because they don't know how long it is going to take to take the epoxy glue off. Then they have to research how the beard originally got put on.

  • amayap-612-
    10/30/2015 - 09:00 a.m.

    I think that the reason why experts can't be certain abut all aspects of the repair of King Tut's mask is because they have absolutely no idea what's gong to happen to it when they try. They might even damage the beard even more. Overall, i think that this article was very interesting.

  • brookeb-612-
    10/30/2015 - 09:02 a.m.

    They do not know how deep the new epoxy is in the beard, so they do not know how long it will take to remove the beard. They are going to try to reattach the beard with old Egyptian techniques, and they do not want to leave permanent damage to the beard.

  • kateh5600-612-
    10/30/2015 - 09:05 a.m.

    I think that the experts cannot be certain about all aspects of the repair because even if they manage to get the beard off and then back on they might not be able to get it back on the RIGHT way. For instance what if the beard was originally infused in the gold a little bit? The scientists may not be able to create the same circumstances without damaging the mask.

  • jocelyna-612-
    10/30/2015 - 09:12 a.m.

    I think experts cant't be certain about the aspects of the repair because King Tut's golden mask is fragile. Also the museum employee used epoxy. They thought about warming the glue up but like the specialist said,"it's unfortunately epoxy resin, which is not soluble." They thought about scraping the glue off with wooden sticks which is working. They have a possibility and a failure possibility.

  • flynnm-612-
    10/30/2015 - 09:14 a.m.

    The experts cannot be certain about all aspects of the repair's as in how long it will take , or the exact method they will use , or how there priceisely going to joint it together because first they don't know exactly how deep the epoxy glue went into the mask'es beard or how long it could take to get off the residue from the epoxy glue from the beard .

  • marybellg-612-
    10/30/2015 - 01:45 p.m.

    Expert cant be certain about all aspects of repair because they never know what could happen, to it. They had to be very cautious of what they were doing.

  • allyt-612-
    10/30/2015 - 01:45 p.m.

    They can not be certain because there materials they use now days may not be as good as the BCE times, or the person putting it back on could mess it up by not doing it right.

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