By Arthur Carmichael
Americans have always been impressed by royalty, as evidenced by the reaction when members of the British monarchy visit the city. But one king has always held a special attraction for them: The Egyptian Boy King, Tutankhamun... King Tut.
Archaeologist Howard Carter captured the world’s imagination nearly a century ago, on Nov. 4, 1922, when he made the astounding discovery of the undisturbed tomb of Tutankhamun. To that time tomb raiders had defiled the resting places of Egyptian royalty, stealing precious artifacts and the country’s history.
After devoting years in the search for Tut, a minor historical figure, Carter uncovered the boy-king’s resting place in the Valley of The Kings. Tut was in what must be considered a “low-cost” tomb with everything he was buried with still alongside of his sarcophagus.
When Carter peered into the burial chamber, his words were as famous as those spoken by Neil Armstrong upon landing on the moon.
“What do you see,” a man behind Carter asked.
“I see wondrous things,” the archaeologist replied.
And indeed they were. When many of the artifacts made their first journey to New York, tickets for the exhibition were gone like those for a top rock star. Now he’s back.
Premier Exhibitions 5th Avenue, 417 5th Avenue NYC, has unveiled The Discovery of King Tut, a new exhibition that provides an unparalleled opportunity to explore the legendary tomb and its treasures just as Carter found them.
Seen by millions of visitors worldwide in cities such as Paris, Seoul, Berlin, Amsterdam and Madrid, The Discovery of King Tut, takes you back more than 3,000 years to trace the story of the boy king who reigned for a decade and died suddenly at age 19. This thrillingly unique experience explores the legendary tomb and its treasures as they were at the exact moment of their discovery. Visitors can feel the rush of excitement as they step into a moment only witnessed by Howard Carter’s excavation team, view more than 1000 precisely crafted replicas and reconstructions and discover the story behind one of the most iconic moments in history.
The tomb’s magnificent burial goods have been reproduced exactly, down to the finest detail, by expert Egyptian craftsmen and renowned Egyptologists. These exquisitely crafted replicas and reconstructions, allow visitors to step into the wonder of the discovery as if the original excavation in the Valley of the Kings has been reopened.
The exhibition also brings together a collection that can only be seen separately elsewhere, even in Egypt, because the king’s treasures are kept in the Cairo Museum. In addition, Tutankhamun’s beautifully painted tomb in the Valley of the Kings has been stripped of everything but his mummy, the outer coffin and the stone sarcophagus. By contrast, the exhibition experience provides an exact reconstruction of three chambers from Tutankhamun’s tomb, revealing themselves just as the discoverers saw them.
Starting December 4th, visitors to The Discovery of King Tut will be able to enjoy talks, tours and special events by such renowned speaker as “Mr. Mummy” Bob Brier (Author, Lecturer at Long Island University), Catharine Roehrig (Author, Curator at the Egyptian Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Kara Cooney (Author, Professor at the University of California in Los Angeles). The former head of Antiquities in Egypt, Zahi Hawass, will also visit from Cairo to give a talk and sign his books, “The Discovery of Tutankhamun – From Howard Carter to DNA,” and the brand-new “The Golden Boy – History for Kids,” both accompanying publications to the exhibition.
The world of ancient Egypt has captured the public imagination for centuries, with exhibitions on Egyptian history and culture proving to be hugely popular around the globe. The 1976 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, however, unleashed an “Egyptomania” like never before, so much so that it was said that Tutankhamun began his real life after death in New York. The Met’s exhibition led to a “Tut-mania” that affected everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Andy Warhol to Steve Martin.
And it’s not just the “Tut-mania” caused by this legendary exhibition that connects Tutankhamun with New York, the city‘s association with the boy king‘s story goes back to 1922/23 and beyond, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art actively participated in the excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Harry Burton was an English Egyptologist and archaeological photographer, whose most famous photographs are the 1,400 he took documenting the excavation of Tutankhamun‘s tomb on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Without Harry Burton‘s photos, The Discovery of King Tut would not have been possible, since he documented the tomb‘s appearance at the time of its discovery.
For the New York exhibition, British specialist studio Dynamichrome has colorized a selection of Burton’s photos, each marking a milestone during the excavation. These will be on display in a special gallery, focusing on “the romance between New York and King Tut.”
The Discovery of King Tut has succeeded in meeting a major challenge: The exhibition reconstructs, in great detail a burial treasure that was assembled thousands of years ago and which, upon discovery in 1922, was separated from its original context. Today, this replica exhibition provides the only way to see these objects reunited and displayed as they were originally found, enabling visitors to relive the magical moment of the tomb’s discovery as if they had been there themselves.
The exhibition experience culminates in exact reconstructions of three tomb chambers that reveal themselves just as the discoverers saw them. A radioplay-like audio tour based on Howard Carter’s diaries, video documentaries, extensive texts and object descriptions and unhindered access to the objects together provide an exciting, as well as informative, experience for all the senses.
One thousand one-of-a-kind, precisely hand crafted reconstructions of all the iconic artifacts are on display. These objects are not designed to replace the original artifacts, but to complement them. This way, The Discovery of King Tut allows a huge audience to access the fascinating world of the pharaohs without ever compromising the fragile, millennia-old originals.
With the aid of exquisite, precisely crafted replicas and reconstructions, the exhibition allows visitors to step right into the wonder of the most famous archaeological discovery of the twentieth century. It is as if the original excavation in the Valley of the Kings has been reopened.
A series of lectures by renowned Egyptologists, and a gallery featuring the special relationship between New York and King Tut will also accompany the exhibition. The Discovery of King Tut is scheduled to run through May 1, 2016. Tickets are $29 for adults and $20 for children. Tickets are on sale now at: