The Golden Throne of King Tutankhamun
King Tutankhamun’s Golden Throne is a masterpiece of art, not only in Ancient Egyptian times, but also in the history of the art of humanity in general.
The meaning of the Throne in Egypt: – The throne in Egypt, as in many eastern countries, was a symbol of authority and prestige. Six chairs were buried with Tutankhamun in his sepulcher, scattered throughout the Anteroom and the outbuilding.- For the ancient Egyptians, the Throne means in hieroglyphs (ist) and was the emblem of the Goddess “Isis”, therefore, the one who was sitting on the throne, he was represented the son of “Isis”, who is God “Horus”, so the king was sacred because he is “Horus”, who is qualified to sit on the lap of the Goddess “Isis” .- In reality “Howard Carter “discovered another five thrones and chairs belong to the king” Tutankhamen “. These thrones and chairs were found scattered in the “annex” and “Anticamera” of the tomb. The discovery site- The golden throne was discovered covered with folds of black linen shrouds in the Anteroom of the tomb number (KV62) of the king Tutankhamen under the Hippopotamus funerary bed.
Why this fine piece given little honor in the final classification? Because this golden throne has nothing to do with the court of Thebes or even Memphis, but is associated with El Amarna. Thus it was built at the beginning of the reign of Tutankhamun.
The Amarna style of art is evident in this piece in the following points:
The solar disk that dominated the main scene of the back of the throne is the representation of God “itn” with the sun’s rays emerging from it to indicate the power of the god “itn” (which was the power behind the sun not the solar disk same) and these rays end with human hands to represent the association between the anthropomorphic God “itn” and his priest, unique on earth (The King) to provide the people through the body of the royal family with life and prosperity that has been represented near the nostrils of the royal family.
The names of the king and his royal wife are written in the previous form or (ITN) form on all sides of the throne and also returned except for two seats (near the head of Tutankhamun on the back and on the inside of the left armrest of the throne), which were probably added later, after the religious revolution. The intimate scene that is full of affection between the royal couple. The naturalistic scene of birds flying on some marches of papyrus plants, without any representation of human beings. The physical characteristics of both the king and the queen as the elongated face, slim waist, heavy hips, slender legs, and sandals.
Description of the Golden Throne – The golden throne is made of wood covered with sheets that do not have gold and silver leaves and inlaid in some parts with semiprecious stones, such as (turquoise with its blue color “mfqAt”, faience with its dark blue color “xsbt”, and carnelian with its orange color) and some inlaid parts with painted glass. As we know that the silver sheets were very expensive even more expensive or precious than gold, because silver was very rare in Egypt, but the artist used his plates to cover the costumes of the royal couple and also to distinguish between the two crowns in the serpents on both edges of the thrones because the artist imitate the red color of the crown of Lower Egypt from gold and the white color of the crown of Upper Egypt from silver.
– The main scene on the back of the golden throne represents the king “Tutankhamun”, seated on a throne similar to this throne padded to be more comfortable for the king and which was also a tradition from “El Amarna” period of art. He is seated in front of his wife “Ankhesenamen” who is represented, while the beautiful bow is touching the shoulder and massaging the body of the king for particular types of perfumed ointments and ointments.
-As one sees that this scene is full of signs of love and affection between the royal couple, such as: – The massage scene and the contact of the body of the king, from the queen. Around the main scene there are flowers and fruits, which are considered the codes or symbols of love and affection in ancient Egyptian art.
-The king “Tutankhamun” is represented with a composite crown, which is similar to the “Atef” crown with further additions of snakes that wear solar disks and two feathers. She wears a hair wig that ended up with two flags from behind, which is also one of the traditions of the “Amarna” style of art. He wears a large “wsx” collar that covers most of his shoulder and chest. He is also wearing the real “Sndyt” kilt, which is very long and pleated with a central tongue that was the fashion of this time. He’s putting his feet on a stool, which is similar to this stool in front of us inside this window. In front of the king, there is his wife Queen “Ankhesenamen” also wearing a composite crown with two feathers and sun disk and two horns. She wears a wig with two small flags, wide collar, and she also wears her dress, which is made of silver.- Behind the queen, there is a high table with a collar on it, which is a very special feature.
-On two sides of the throne, we can see that King “Tutankhamen”, wanted to emphasize his control of both Upper and Lower Egypt by 4 characteristics: –
There are two snakes, one of whom wears the “silver” white crown of Upper Egypt (HDT) “as a play on words because both silver and white have the same translation in hieroglyphics and that a tradition of ancient Egyptians “and the other serpent wears the red” “golden crown of Lower Egypt (dSrt).
On one side remains of the throne, there are two big snakes, their eyes are inlaid with hard stones and they rest on the “nb” sign, decorated with colored squares, wearing the double gold and silver crown (sxmty).
The two great serpents, on the one hand remains of the throne are two wings which is a representation of the unity of the two main goddesses of Upper and Lower Egypt (the cobra goddess of Lower Egypt “wADt” and the vulture goddess of Upper Egypt ” Nxbt “).
On the four sides of the throne between the four legs, there are four broken representations of the “tawy SMA” sign consisting of the lungs and the trachea of the narrow king with the papyrus plants “Sign of Lower Egypt” and lotus “Sign of Upper Egypt “flowers to imitate that the king’s breath is the support of the unification of the two lands.
-The two hands remain of the throne take the form of two lions in which the artist perfects his work in the anatomy of the two lions, in their paws, which is made of lapis lazuli, in the difference between the front and the hind legs of the lion, the lower part of the lion’s front leg is represented with a part of lapis lazuli, and also the lion’s facial features also the lion’s mane, lion’s ears, and the lion’s inlaid eyes with semiprecious stones to imitate that the king is flanked by two royal lions with all the characteristics of ferocity, power, and the wildness of the lions.
– The existence of these two lions has different indications, such as: – It may be these two lions indicate the power and power of the king and that he is able to govern and of Lower Egypt, despite the fact that he was ten or eleven years old when he was crowned on this throne. Since lions were believed to live on the edge of the desert, they came to be regarded as the guardians of the eastern and western horizons, the places of sunrise and sunset. In this context it sometimes replaced the eastern and western mountains, symbolic of the past and the future, on both sides of the horizon hieroglyph (Akhet). Thus the two lions can represent the western horizon and the eastern horizon or the past and the future and the king who is seated among them is the present or the sun on the horizon.-Also in this concern, the lions were on guard at the door through which the sun came and went every day. Since the sun is born every morning and every night is dead on the horizon, so the lions have been linked with death and rebirth. That is why the chairs and beds of the living were sometimes decorated with lion’s feet or a head, perhaps so that the occupant would increase renewed after sleep or sleep.
The back of the throne:
-On the back of the throne, there is the naturalistic scene of ducks that fly over the Nile marches. Also there is a freezing of cobras made of hard stones and decorated with sun disks above their heads. There are three lines of hieroglyphic inscriptions representing the “first form itn” of the king’s names when his name was “Tut anx itn” and his wife was “anx sn pA itn”.
The Footrest: – As for the stool of the throne, it is made of solid wood covered with gold leaves and decorated on its top with 6 of the nine traditional enemies that can be an exaggeration of the three enemies Eastern, Western and Southern borders of Egypt (the Asians, the Libyans, Nubians and The) to indicate the plural of plurality or the perfection of power over the enemies and which was realized by 3×3 = 9 “psDt psDwt” or 3×2 = 6 as in the case of this stool of the golden throne of the king “Tutankhamun”. Another opinion said that the real number of enemies of Egypt during the reign of King “Tutankhamen” of six enemies, but this opinion is not strong, because on the other 5 footrests we found the nine traditional enemies that are:
The Nubians, Libyans, Asians, Peoples of the Sea, Assyrians, Hittites, the inhabitants of Kush, Babylonians, and the Palestinians.
On the front and back of the footrest, we can see the “rxyt” birds with human hands represent the commoners of Egypt sitting on the sign “nb” which means everything, and next to them, we find the sign “DWA” which is “to worship “. So this is translated as: the king is worshiped by all the commoners.
At the center of this scene on the footrest, we can read a vertical line of hieroglyphs that says “NBW taw xAst nbt wrw n rTnw dmi mi wax r Tbwy.k mi ra Dt: All the great foreign countries are being united as one under the sandals , as King forever. “The king wanted to declare that, despite the fact that he was a boy, but he was able to subjugate all the enemies of Egypt and to be worshiped by the people of Egypt also.
There are two modifications to this throne, which are: the modification of two of the “itn” form of the king of “TWT anx imn HqA IWN rsyt” on two parts of the throne. The first part is above the head of the king in the main scene on the back of the throne and the second part is inside the left-hand side of the throne. The wig hair modification and the crowns of both the king and the queen. The evidences of this modification are the banners that are not attached to the hair wigs and the sun’s rays that are cut over the crowns of the kings and the queen.
– If we focus on the main scene of this throne, we found that both the king and the queen wear sandals one, so there are weak said that the king and his wife share the same pair of sandals as a proof of the marriage and the sharing of power between the king and the queen. What really happened is that the parts of the sandals other kings and the queen were cut, while this throne was transported from the tomb to the Egyptian Museum, because we can see traces of the missing sandal on the king’s right leg.