Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ancient Egypt (pt. 12)

After Akhenaton's death, the art changed back to the way it was before; the prior polytheistic religion was reinstituted; and the capital was moved back to Thebes—the end of the Amarna Period.  The god Aton was forgotten, as exemplified with Akhenaton's son, Tutankhaton ("living image of Aton"), whose name was changed to Tutankhamen ("living image of Amun").
King Tutankhamen, successor of Akhenaton, is most famous for his extravagant tomb, which contained more gold treasures than any other Egyptian tomb.  The pharaoh alone was buried in seven sarcophagi.  The tomb was discovered in 1922 by English archaeologist Howard Carter, who later wrote about the exciting moment of the discovery:
"At first I could see nothing; the hot air escaping from the chamber, causing the candle flame to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and gold—everywhere the glint of gold…  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.'" – Howard Carter, 1933

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