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By David Murdoch

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Extra resources for Tutankhamun: The Life and Death of a Pharoah (DK Discoveries)

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This was a wooden frame in the shape of the god, filled with Nile soil, and planted with corn seeds. The seeds would germinate in the tomb, symbolizing the rebirth of Osiris and that of the dead person. HORUS OSIRIS ISIS AND NEPHTHYS If the dead man had told the truth and led a good life, Horus, the falcon-headed god of kingship, presented him to Osiris. Osiris welcomed the dead man, who would now “become an Osiris” himself and live for ever in the kingdom of the dead. Osiris was attended by his wife, Isis, and her sister, Nephthys, who watched the judgement.

When wooden objects were brought out and exposed to dry desert air, there were problems. The wood shrank and separated from its coverings of gesso (plaster) and gold. Head cloth Other materials, such as cloth, leather, made of gilded and the strings holding necklaces gesso plaster together, had rotted away in the Jewellery had tomb and could not be saved. to be rethreaded. Shrinking wood This guardian statue shows the problem of shrinking wood. There are cracks where the head cloth and collar of gilded gesso have started to separate from the wooden body and face.

The tyet was probably an image of a knot of cloth. LIFE AFTER DEATH A painting from the tomb of Sennedjem in Western Thebes shows what the Egyptians expected in the afterlife – a happier version of their earthly life. The dead man and his wife are ploughing and reaping in the “field of reeds”, a realm of the afterlife situated at the northern edge of the sky. Becoming an Osiris The magical rebirth of Osiris gave the Egyptians hope that they too could “become an Osiris” and live for ever in the afterlife.

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