Anonymous: Northern Wall of the tomb of Tutanchamun (1323 BC)
(KV62, Valley of the Kings, Egypt)
A fresco by an anonymous Egyptian artist. Perhaps the most famous of all Egyptian pharaoh's, in history Tutanchamun (reign 1332–1323 BC) was but an obscure ruler. His father was pharaoh Akhenaten, known as Amenhotep IV at the start of his reign, but the identity of his mother is still unknown (her mummy has been found and is known as 'The Younger Lady'). The death of Tutanchamun was apparently unexpectedly and the young pharaoh was placed in a very small tomb, now known as tomb KV62, which was perhaps an unfinished tomb of somebody else. Only the burial chamber, the chamber with the sarcophagus of Tutanchamun, was decorated. This fresco is of the Norther wall of this chamber and shows 3 scenes which are read from right to left:
- extreme right scene: the opening of the mouth ceremony. The person on the right is Ay, Tutankhamun's successor, dressed as a high ranking priest while Tutanchamun is shown the form of the god Osiris. The opening of the mouth ceremony was symbolic ceremony in which a priest would use special tools to magically open the mouth of the deceased so it could breathe, speak, drink and eat again in the afterlife.
- middle scene: The deceased Tutanchamun is shown before the goddess Nut, the goddess of the Sky and Heavens
- left scene: Tutankhamen and his Ka, the vital vital essence of a person - that which distinguishes a living and a dead person, are welcomed in the afterlife by the god Osiris
Fresco from around 1323 BC