Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Boy King

The Boy King
King Tut

I have had somewhat of a fascination (some may call it obsession) with Egypt and the mysteries that are buried deep in the Valley of the Kings. Probably the most famous Egyptian of all time would be Tut-ankh-amun, the Boy King or know to many others as King Tut. I just get excited when there is something on the television or on the news about the ancient Egyptians.

Currently there is an opportunity at Silverstar Casino to visit and experience some of the richest history that was ever discovered. The Tutankhamun exhibition is on display for another month until the 1st of March. This is the very 1st time that this exhibition is in South Africa and the very 1st exhibition on the African continent. I consider this unique opportunity to discover the Tutankhamun exhibition and the treasures of the tomb a definite must see for any person who has ever considered to travel abroad to Egypt to experience something as amazing as this.

The British archaeologist, Howard Carter was the man behind the exploration and excavation of the area KV62 and on 4 November 1922 the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun would change the way the world looked at Egypt and the possibilities that could still be buried under the sands of the desert. And it was on 26 November 1922 that any living human would enter the tomb of Tutankhamun for the first time in over 3000 years. The thing that makes the discovery of King Tut's tomb so amazing is that it was a tomb found which is to be believed to only have been robbed twice and the only items thought to be taken from the tomb were oils and perfumes. This meant that this tomb would hold the richest treasures know to man found in any Pharaoh's tomb.

King Tut is also referred to as 'The Boy King' because he was only a mere 9 years old when he became Pharaoh and he only reigned for approximately 10 years and died when he was only 19 years old.

Some quick and useful info:
Opening Times:
Sunday - Thursday: 09h00 - 19h00
Fridays - Saturday: 09h00 - 21h00
Public Holidays: 09h00 - 21h00

Ticket Prices:
Adults - R160 per person
Seniors (60+ years) & Students: R120 per person
Children (6-18 years): R100 per person
Children (5 years and younger): Free

It takes approximately 2 hours to go through the whole of the exhibition.
Included in the your entry fee is an audio guide.

Upon arrival you receive an audio guide. Now this is one thing that I absolutely love. It is very European and it is fantastic as with this little device you are able to listen to all the information on every piece displayed at the exhibition. With a simple press of a few buttons, a confident voice starts telling you about the item you are standing in front of and the amazing history behind them. Without this audio guide, you would walk around this exhibition and still be amazed by all the sights. However, when you make use of this audio guide it is as if you are taken back in time and you can create a mental image of what it must have been like those 3000 years ago.

At the start of the exhibition you are taken through a multimedia presentation of Howard Carter and his life leading up to the discovery of the tomb. The 1st presentation takes you up to the point where Howard Carter broke through the wall of the 1st tomb and placed his hand through the hole in the wall with candle in hand and when Lord Carnarvon asked “Can you see anything?” Carter replied with the famous words: “Yes, wonderful things!”

From here you are taken to the 2nd presentation and here you take a seat and in front of you, is the view that Carter first saw and the items are explained and the lighting emphasizes what you are listening to, in order to draw your attention. The 3rd presentation is the tomb chamber and here they show how sarcophagus within sarcophagus was opened until they came to find the mummy of King Tut. The final presentation takes you on a journey of all the treasures found in the treasury and the magnificence of these items.

From here on, you are free to wander through the exhibition at your own pace and view each item at your leisure. You can get up close to the golden sarcophagus and see the intricate detail which are engraved upon these masterpieces.  

I could honestly just keep on writing and going into much more detail about my fascination, but like some of you would know by now, I love using photographs to tell a story. So here are a few photo's which I snapped on my trip to the Tutankhamun Exhibition at Silverstar Casino. (And yes, you are allowed to take photographs of everything that is on display.)

After going through the exhibition I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a presentation by the famous Dr Zahi Hawass entitled "Pyramids, Mummies and Cleopatra: Recent Discoveries". It was here that this man told stories about his adventures and excavations which he has led and the discoveries that have been made in recent times. It was a real informative session and for enthusiasts it was a thrill to get to hear from Dr Hawass in person. After his talk, Dr Hawass signed copies of his books and even posed for photographs with some of his admirers.

But back to the exhibition... Honestly. If the photographs I posted are not enough to make you want to experience this 1st hand, then maybe just have a 2nd look! 

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