King Tutankhamun Exhibition – Behind the News


MATT HOLBROOK: If you’ve ever
wanted to go down as one of history’s
most famous faces, it would probably help if your face
was literally made of gold. And you were already
kind of a big deal – say, an Egyptian pharaoh. This is King Tutankhamen,
and for nearly a century, people the world over have been
a little bit obsessed with him. King Tut lived 3,000 years ago during a time period
we call the New Kingdom of Egypt – even though it’s obviously
kind of old now. He took the throne at nine or 10, and lived just a few short years,
dying at 19. Archaeologists aren’t exactly sure
what he died of, but he probably had malaria
and disabilities. Anyway, like other Egyptian pharaohs
of the time, he was mummified. Most of his organs were removed,
put in jars to bury with him, and his body was wrapped
and preserved in oils and minerals. And all that was stuffed
in a secret tomb. Apart from being a king, King Tut didn’t do anything
particularly exciting during his life. That we know of, anyway. But the discovery of his tomb
thousands of years later made him a superstar. See, in 1922, after years digging in
the Valley of the Kings, an area many pharaohs and other
important people had been buried, an archaeologist named Howard Carter
discovered a set of steps. VOICE ACTOR: “I was struck dumb
with amazement, “and when Lord Carnarvon, “unable to stand the suspense
any longer, “inquired anxiously,
‘Can you see anything?’ “it was all I could do to get out
the words, ‘Yes, wonderful things.'” Tombs like this weren’t just
filled with mummies and gross body parts in jars. They contained very valuable objects. The Egyptians believed they could
take their riches with them after they died. But those riches made tombs a target
for thieves. Despite that, robbers left
a lot of King Tut’s treasure behind and people everywhere were blown away
with what the tomb contained. There was some speculation
his tomb was cursed. It started after a few visitors
to the tomb died just months after entering it. Of course, they died from
completely explainable causes and scientists agree that
it’s all basically nonsense. But it gave these news reporters
something to joke about. It’s quite clear
that in the 20th century, it’s very unlikely that any…
(GROANS) ..some sort of…curse like that
could possibly persist but it’s… Oh, dear! In 2018, Tutankhamen lives on. Well, not really. But Australians will get a rare
chance to see some of his treasures. Sydney is set to become one of just
10 cities to host the biggest Tutankhamen exhibition
ever to leave Egypt. Unfortunately, it’s not until 2021. The good news is,
King Tut’s not going anywhere. He’s dead.

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