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Tutankhamun's Treasure

Of all the treasures that are not books, Tutankhamun's is probably the most stunning, wondrous and marvellous. Maybe murdered, possibly killed in a hunting accident, or perhaps simply struck down by malaria, three thousand years later still, in many ways his death is still a mystery.

So if you have any sense of adventure, take your hat and Indiana Jones style whip, and embark on a journey to IFEMA. Once there, only when you have passed through the long desert (from the distant parking), arrived to the dark cave (what they call the warehouse number 5.1), and have overcome the security members (which you can do by buying a ticket) will you arrive at the threshold of the KV23 (Tutankhamun's tomb). Then the real adventure will begin.

When your eyes get accustomed to the shadows you will be, possibly for the first time, in a real treasure chamber. Infinite shining objects covering everything, every space, from one extreme the other, but there are no jewels, no coins, nor ingots. It is like the Victorian play room of an old castle or the attic of manor house but with all its toys and gadgets made of gold: scale models of Nile's ships, war trumpets, beds shaped like lionesses, antelope or a hippopotamus, hunting bows, thrones, colourful daggers, bracelets, treasure chests, spears, toy soldiers, an astounding chariot for racing and hunting, boomerangs, ... And, incredibly, dozens of packets of food, like a three thousand year old McDonalds picnic-lunch, for the afterlife... And this is only the antechamber. Moving on you will find the Annexe, the Burial Chamber, and the Treasury.

You might know that Tutankhamun (for us, at this point, Tut), lived between 1336 and 1327BC and was the last pharaoh of the XVIII Dynasty. He was the son of Akhenaton ,the crazy reformer, and probably the half-son of Nefertiti, the prettiest of the queens of Egypt, as you can see, even today if you go to Berlin). He was also a descendent of the dazzling Hatshepsut, the unique pharaoh woman among pharaohs, and also of the intrepid Tutmosis III, erudite and warrior. Interestingly, Tutankhamun, in spite of his fame, was only "the pharoahteen". He died at only 19 years of age, and that was all. Well, and then Carter came, three thousand, two hundred and forty nine years later.

Howard Carter was a British Egyptologist with not much luck, but a dreamer with so much persistence and persuasiveness that he managed to involve Lord Carnarvon in the desperate search of Tutankhamun's tomb at the Valley of the Kings, despite the fact, as everyone knew, that the Valley was completely out of secrets. They spent five years digging rocks and taking out sand. Then, in November of 1922, the luck of Tut changed; Howard Carter found the entrance of what would be the first recorded intact tomb of a pharaoh.

That is all in the exhibition, and now it is up to you. If you decide to accept the challenge, when somebody asks you what you saw you can reply like Carter, "wonderful things".

Valeria A, Year 7

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