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A Modern-Day Resurrection | Rosanne Pak

“Beyond King Tut” is a new immersive museum celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tutankhamun, one of the most well-known pharaohs of ancient Egypt. The exclusive National Geographic exhibit opened its doors at the Del Mar Fairgrounds to San Diegans across the county last Friday on January 27th (with tickets varying from $22 to $44), bringing a new 3D experience to visitors as you walk through a visual storytelling of the young pharaoh’s life. Through the cinematic walls and floors of the museum, visitors can witness the intricate practice of ancient mummification, study the rituals for Egyptian gods, and learn about Howard Carter’s historic discovery of King Tut’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

King Tut first reigned as pharaoh of Egypt when he was just 9 years old. Because of the traditional inbreeding in the royal family, Tut was born a frail infant and had a few deformities. One of his many health issues included a bone disease in his left foot resulting in his use of a cane for the rest of his life. Furthermore, a 1955 CT scan of Tut revealed evidence of multiple malaria infections and an infected broken left leg, all contributing factors that may be linked to his untimely death at just 19 years old. Tut’s short reign over Egypt, however, was nothing quite as unique as his well-preserved tomb later found by Carter. Historians suggest that early in his reign as pharaoh, Tut’s rule was primarily dominated by the court’s advisors. This would explain the limited achievements historians found that connect to King Tut’s short reign while he was still alive.

As opposed to Tut’s somewhat boring life on Earth, his death, burial, and discovery is much more notable and recognized today. First, a few contributing factors have been found that may link to Tut’s death, but the true cause of his death is yet to be discovered. This is a reason why many archaeologists and historians are intrigued by Tut, and some theories as to how he died have been speculated but never proven. Secondly, Tut’s tomb and the discovery of it is what makes Tut so renowned in the first place. Howard Carter was a British archaeologist who led a team of archaeologists in 1914 to dig at a site in Egypt where it was believed to hold King Tut’s tomb. When Carter’s team finally found and entered Tut’s tomb on November 26, 1922, they uncovered more than 5,000 artifacts which included an abundant number of weapons, clothes, furniture, chariots, and canes.

Today, King Tut’s remains and sarcophagus are on display at his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Other artifacts and treasures found in his tomb are also displayed in a museum in Cairo such as Tut’s treasured jewelry and statues. While there are still many unanswered questions that are still being solved about the young pharaoh, “Beyond King Tut” takes a deep dive into the past life of King Tut and the lingering mysteries surrounding him after his death.

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