Anonymous: The Northern wall of the tomb of pharaoh Tutankhamun (1323 BC)
(Valley of the Kings, Egypt)
When Tutankhamun died in 1323 BC he was burried in a small tomb now known as KV62. The tomb was visited to times by robbers not long after he was buried these robberies were small and the tomb was sealed again by Egyptian priests. Only 1 chamber in the tomb is decorated which is the burial chamber were the sarcophagus of the young king lies. This is the decoration of the Northern wall of the burial chamber. The decoration must be read from right to left and contains 3 scenes:
- The first scene is the most right one and shows the so-called "opening of the mouth ritual". Tutankhamun is shown in the form of the god Osiris. The Successor of Tutankhamun, Ay, is dressed as high ranking priest and stands before him, perfoming the ceremony. In ancient Egypt it was believed that in order for a person's soul to survive in the afterlife it would need to have food and water. The "opening of the mouth ritual" was performed so that the deceased could eat, drink and speak again in the afterlife. Ay holds a ritual adze (a cutting tool) in his hands with which he touches the mounth of Tutankhamun. Between Ay and Tutankhamun is a table on with several other ceremonial instruments, including a calf's leg.
- The next scene on the wall in in the middle. This scene takes place in the afterlife. The young Tutankhamun, who is holding a walking stick and the Ankh symbol (the 'breath of life') in his other hand, is greeted by the Goddess Nut (the goddess of the sky), she has the symbol of water in both her hands. Nut welcomes Tutankhamun in his journey into the afterlife and comforts him that nothing bad is going to happen.
- The third scene is the most left one. Tutankhamun embraces Osiris, god of the afterlife/ resurrection and is accepted into the afterlife. the figure behind Tutankhamun with the unhold hands on his head is the 'Ka' of Tutankhamun. The 'ka' is concept of spirit or soul. It was seen in ancient Egypt as the vital essence, the difference between a living and a dead person - death occurs when the Ka left the body. Decoration done in 1323 BC.