Why has King Tut’s body been subjected to repeated scrutiny ?
King Tut’s life and death have been a mystery. In order to reveal that mystery, his body has been subjected to repeated scrutiny.
Why was Howard Carter’s investigation resented ?
Because of hardened resins, it became impossible to remove the mummy from its coffin. Carter had to use a chisel. The mummy’s head and all major joints had to be removed piece by piece. It was thought that Carter had damaged the mummy. That was why his investigation was resented.
Why did Carter has to chisel away the solidified resins to raise the king’s remains ?
The solidified resins had cemented Tut’s mummy to the bottom of his coffin. There was no way to remove the mummy from the coffin. So Carter had to chisel away the solidified resins.
Why was Tut’s body buried along with gilded treasures ?
In Tut’s time, the royals thought that they could take their riches with them after their death. It was because of this belief that Tut’s body was buried along with gilded treasures.
Why did the boy king change his name from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun ?
Amun was a major god in ancient Egypt. But the previous king had made his people worship the sun god Aten. He had smashed all the images of Amun. When Tut became the king, he restored the old ways. He changed his own name from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun which means ‘living image of Amun’.
List the deeds that led Ray Johnson to describe Akhenaten as ‘wacky’.
Amun was a major god in ancient Egypt. Thebes was its religious capital. But when Akhenaten became the king, he made his people worship the sun god Aten. He smashed all the images of Amun, and closed his temples. He even changed his religious capital from Thebes to the new city of Akhetaten. That is why Ray Johnson describes him as ‘wacky’.
List the results of the CT scan of Tut’s mummy.
The mummy was scanned from head to toe. The astonishing images of Tut were seen on the computer screen. The technician spun Tut’s head in every direction. Images of a hand and the neck vertebrae were also seen. Several views of the rib cage and the skull were also seen. It was found that nothing had gone seriously wrong with Tut’s body.
List the advances in technology that have improved forensic analysis.
Diagnostic imaging can now be done with computed tomography. The CT machine can take hundred of X-ray images in cross section. These images can be put together like slices of bread. They give us a three-dimensional true view of the body.
Explain the statement, “King Tut is one of the first mummies to be scanned in life as in death.”
Tut became a king when he was only a boy of nine years. He ruled for eight years and died at the age of eighteen. How he became a king and how he died has been a mystery. When his mummy was found in 1922, it was scanned to know the facts related to his life as well as death. It was one of the first mummies used for such a probe.
Discuss the following in groups of two pairs, each taking opposite point of view.
1. Scientific intervention is necessary to unearth buried mysteries.
2. Advanced technology gives us conclusive evidence of past events.
3. Tradition, rituals and funerary practices must be respected.
4. Knowledge about past lives is useful to complete our knowledge of the world we live in.
1. For : It is only by scientific analysis that we can probe facts about past life or buried things. In the absence of living evidence, scientific analysis is the only way to determine the facts.
Against : We should let bygones be bygones. No good can come by digging out the dead. What good can it do to know whether Tut died at eighteen or eighty? What good can it do to know whether he died a natural death or was murdered? A mere waste of time and energy !
2. For : Advanced technology has helped us to do computed tomography. We can take hundreds of X-rays of the different parts of a thing and put them together to have a three dimensional view of the whole. Thus the whole thing becomes absolutely clear to the mind. Against : What is past, is dead and gone. It never does any good to recall it. No amount of advanced technology can bring the dead back to life. Then what is the use of gathering facts about something that no longer exists ?
3. For : Tradition, rituals and funerary practices are closely related to the feelings and emotions of each community. They must be respected so as not to hurt the feelings of anybody. Against : Different communities have different traditions, rituals and funerary practices. These differences never allow them to become one. Many a time, these differences lead to a lot of violence. They are petty things and we must not give any importance to them.
4. For : We can build our future only on the foundations of the present and the past. We learn many things from our past. We learn what has been good and what has been bad. And on this basis, we can have a complete knowledge of the world. We can know what used to be our past and how different we are now. Against : Knowledge about past lives can’t help us in any way. We should only know what we are now. The past is infinite like the future. We can never have complete knowledge of it. Moreover, it is dead and gone. It can’t be recalled. Knowledge of the present is sufficient to build our future and to have a complete view of the world we live in. We always live in the present, never in the past.