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Ultimate Tut


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#1    Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 08:28 PM

"Ultimate Tut", the title of the latest documentary about Tutankhamun. Perhaps the next one will be "Extreme Tut" or "Tut to the Max!!", well, who knows. Anyway, here is a link to this documentary, I think the first for a long time without Hawass, but with other familiar faces, Selima Akram for instance.
http://video.pbs.org/video/2365043134

For those on this forum who post about AE, then if you have not seen this, then I can assure you there is not much to justify two hours of your time watching it, it is essentially eyecandy for the masses dear viewers...

One point of interest though. I think it was Christine Desroches-Noblecourt who first suggested that Tutankhamun's mummy was badly charred because of the attempts by Howard Carter to seperate the two halves of the inner coffin. They were tightly bonded together by resin and he applied bunsen burners to the coffin. I had thought this was the reason for the charring until it was sugested, I do not remember who by, that Tutankhamun may have spontaneously combusted within his coffin when he was intered. I first thought this was some nonsense until it was clarified that it was not Tutankhamun that combusted, but the very large amount of resin he and his wrappings were soaked in. This documentary shows an experiment that proves that resin can spontaneously combust in an airtight environment, and would get hot enough to cause the charring we see. One of the scientists explained that the heat from a bunsen burner, behind many layers of wrappings and a solid gold coffin, would not have any effect on the mummy at all. I would supect that if it was the result of Carter, then when the coffin lid was removed, a cloud of smoke would have emerged, but this is not mentioned and is highly unlikely. Though even while watching I was thinking, "Well, why are no other mummies charred". Enter Selima Akram to explain what we know was a hurried burial, but she said that even the mummification of Tutankhamun was hurried and not to standard. I had always thought that was the one thing that was done normally, and it was everything else hurried. Still, rather a gruesome thought that for some unknown time he was laying in his coffins slowly cooking. But still something not fully explained. If there was combustion, a slow burning without flames, there would still be gases given off, so I am surprised his coffin did not explode. So, still some mystery. Any ideas on combustion?

Edited by Tutankhaten-pasheri, 14 July 2013 - 08:31 PM.


#2    cladking

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 08:46 PM

View PostTutankhaten-pasheri, on 14 July 2013 - 08:28 PM, said:

"Ultimate Tut", the title of the latest documentary about Tutankhamun. Perhaps the next one will be "Extreme Tut" or "Tut to the Max!!", well, who knows. Anyway, here is a link to this documentary, I think the first for a long time without Hawass, but with other familiar faces, Selima Akram for instance.
http://video.pbs.org/video/2365043134

For those on this forum who post about AE, then if you have not seen this, then I can assure you there is not much to justify two hours of your time watching it, it is essentially eyecandy for the masses dear viewers...

One point of interest though. I think it was Christine Desroches-Noblecourt who first suggested that Tutankhamun's mummy was badly charred because of the attempts by Howard Carter to seperate the two halves of the inner coffin. They were tightly bonded together by resin and he applied bunsen burners to the coffin. I had thought this was the reason for the charring until it was sugested, I do not remember who by, that Tutankhamun may have spontaneously combusted within his coffin when he was intered. I first thought this was some nonsense until it was clarified that it was not Tutankhamun that combusted, but the very large amount of resin he and his wrappings were soaked in. This documentary shows an experiment that proves that resin can spontaneously combust in an airtight environment, and would get hot enough to cause the charring we see. One of the scientists explained that the heat from a bunsen burner, behind many layers of wrappings and a solid gold coffin, would not have any effect on the mummy at all. I would supect that if it was the result of Carter, then when the coffin lid was removed, a cloud of smoke would have emerged, but this is not mentioned and is highly unlikely. Though even while watching I was thinking, "Well, why are no other mummies charred". Enter Selima Akram to explain what we know was a hurried burial, but she said that even the mummification of Tutankhamun was hurried and not to standard. I had always thought that was the one thing that was done normally, and it was everything else hurried. Still, rather a gruesome thought that for some unknown time he was laying in his coffins slowly cooking. But still something not fully explained. If there was combustion, a slow burning without flames, there would still be gases given off, so I am surprised his coffin did not explode. So, still some mystery. Any ideas on combustion?

I certainly agree that this is hardly worth 2 hours of someone's time.

I was more interested in the speculation about the flooding that appears to have
hidden his tomb and the possibility that more exist.

Given long time periods gasses and liquids can pass through just about anything
including glass.  Large molecules like CO2 are more trapped but snmaller ones
should have little difficulty finding voids and passages between molecules if the
"burn" was very slow.  Higher pressure would likely slow the burn and speed the
exit of gasses.

Men fear the pyramid, time fears man.

#3    Nefer-Ankhe

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 04:52 AM

There is little amount of new documentaries on ancient Egypt, if any, which are of any interest, to someone who has much knowledge upon ancient Egypt, and they make another documentary on Tutankhamun aka King Tut -.-! I believe I am overly well versed with his life (little that is known), his tomb, his mummy and the finding of his tomb. Could there not be a new documentary upon someone or something else?

This also brings me to another topic, on ancient Egypt, I personally believe they should do more DNA tests and CT scans on other important and interesting mummies (now that would make an interesting documentary ;) ) perhaps even accurate facial reconstructions, on mummies, such as Queen Tiye, Hatshepsut, KV55 and re-do KV35 (that facial reconstruction was very much so Neferteti biased, turns out the mummy wasn't even Neferteti :hmm:)! Just something of interest to me.

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--- from Amarna Sunset, Aidan Dodson.

#4    Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 08:16 AM

View PostNefer-Ankhe, on 15 July 2013 - 04:52 AM, said:

facial reconstructions, on mummies, such as Queen Tiye, Hatshepsut, KV55 and re-do KV35.
Sometimes, in moments of paranoia, I think that these various documentarians collude amongst themselves that they will only show so much in each documentary, never the full story so they can keep making documentaries......    My wish list, on only 18th Dynasty to keep the list reasonable short. DNA testing of all the Tutmosids and close relatives we have mummies for. Facial reconstructions for all of them. And for the benefit of those who like to watch the documentaries, but do not follow up with their own reasearch, and so are misled by many of these documentaries, I would like to see documentaries on the following. End of second intermediate period and rise of the Tutmosids, and including some statement that expulsion of Hyksos is a possible architype for the "exodus" and that Hebrews did not exist at that time. I never saw a documentary about Amunhotep III, surely he deserves several documentaries. A documentary on discovery of KV35. I am sure just the part about the "mummy on the boat" will fill some time, and would this not be of interest to the general viewer, most of whom will never heard of this story. There have been endless documentaries about Akhenaten, yet I never saw one that was not either partial information or a total distortion. It is past time that a proper documentary was made, and I think it would need to be in several parts. And, as it seems needed these days, any dramatic reconstructions to be better made in regards clothing. Some of these reconstructions are almost painful to watch. On this "Ultimate Tut" there was an error that should not have been made, and would not even cost more to have got right. There are many depictions of the sidelocks worn by princes and princesses, and all have the lock on the right side of head, and is a broad braided lock with a large slide holding it in place. Yet on this documentary, as usual, the younger Tutankhamun is shown with some sort of skinny ponytail, and from the back of his scalp. Probably pedantic, but it is a silly error and may show a contempt for the viewer in that they are not really bothered to even get basics correct. And still they have almost everybody wearing a nemes, just like ridiculous Hollywood films from the past. Am I ranting? :innocent:


#5    Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 10:31 AM

Just to add that I know complete authenticity in AE clothing is not an option in these mostly American productions, because the dark minded puritan prudes will hold up their hands in horror and start quoting religious tracts etc.


#6    Antilles

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 10:43 AM

View PostTutankhaten-pasheri, on 14 July 2013 - 08:28 PM, said:

"Ultimate Tut", the title of the latest documentary about Tutankhamun. Perhaps the next one will be "Extreme Tut" or "Tut to the Max!!", well, who knows. Anyway, here is a link to this documentary, I think the first for a long time without Hawass, but with other familiar faces, Selima Akram for instance.
http://video.pbs.org/video/2365043134

For those on this forum who post about AE, then if you have not seen this, then I can assure you there is not much to justify two hours of your time watching it, it is essentially eyecandy for the masses dear viewers...

One point of interest though. I think it was Christine Desroches-Noblecourt who first suggested that Tutankhamun's mummy was badly charred because of the attempts by Howard Carter to seperate the two halves of the inner coffin. They were tightly bonded together by resin and he applied bunsen burners to the coffin. I had thought this was the reason for the charring until it was sugested, I do not remember who by, that Tutankhamun may have spontaneously combusted within his coffin when he was intered. I first thought this was some nonsense until it was clarified that it was not Tutankhamun that combusted, but the very large amount of resin he and his wrappings were soaked in. This documentary shows an experiment that proves that resin can spontaneously combust in an airtight environment, and would get hot enough to cause the charring we see. One of the scientists explained that the heat from a bunsen burner, behind many layers of wrappings and a solid gold coffin, would not have any effect on the mummy at all. I would supect that if it was the result of Carter, then when the coffin lid was removed, a cloud of smoke would have emerged, but this is not mentioned and is highly unlikely. Though even while watching I was thinking, "Well, why are no other mummies charred". Enter Selima Akram to explain what we know was a hurried burial, but she said that even the mummification of Tutankhamun was hurried and not to standard. I had always thought that was the one thing that was done normally, and it was everything else hurried. Still, rather a gruesome thought that for some unknown time he was laying in his coffins slowly cooking. But still something not fully explained. If there was combustion, a slow burning without flames, there would still be gases given off, so I am surprised his coffin did not explode. So, still some mystery. Any ideas on combustion?

Tut's mummy is very black and I've never heard this idea before. There is a lot about Tut's unwrapping that Carter did not publish so I don't find the Bunsen burner trick bizarre. I had read he'd heated knives to cut through the wrappings so I'm not surprised. Let's face it, he and Derry pretty much dismembered Tut but in their defense they thought they were doing a great job. We have Carter to thank for his painstaking site mapping and inventory. It's just always bewildered me that he treated Tut's 'things' so much better than he treated Tut.

Anyway, about combustion. I have never read anything to suggest this happened. Maybe someone else can fill in the details.

Although you know, there are some stories about whacky tableaux performed by archaeologists and their wives in the Valley of the Kings. Maybe they'd had a bit too much mummy dust.....


#7    Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 11:10 AM

View PostAntilles, on 15 July 2013 - 10:43 AM, said:

Tut's mummy is very black and I've never heard this idea before. There is a lot about Tut's unwrapping that Carter did not publish so I don't find the Bunsen burner trick bizarre. I had read he'd heated knives to cut through the wrappings so I'm not surprised. Let's face it, he and Derry pretty much dismembered Tut but in their defense they thought they were doing a great job. We have Carter to thank for his painstaking site mapping and inventory. It's just always bewildered me that he treated Tut's 'things' so much better than he treated Tut.

Anyway, about combustion. I have never read anything to suggest this happened. Maybe someone else can fill in the details.

Although you know, there are some stories about whacky tableaux performed by archaeologists and their wives in the Valley of the Kings. Maybe they'd had a bit too much mummy dust.....
Certainly Carter did a lot of damage that was not exposed, to my knowledge, until  Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt published "Tutankhamen, life and death of a pharaoh" in 1963. I recomend this book to all, even though some is outdated. I had always taken it at face value that Tutankhamun's mummy was charred because of Carter's attempts to open the inner coffin, and then to remove the mummy from the lower half of the coffin. But sometimes we look without seeing, or thinking. His mummy is charred to a uniform level all over the surface of his body. If this was the result of anything Carter did, then it would not be so uniform, particulary I think on the entire back surface of his body. This uniform charring, and the experiment that shows that resin can spontaneously combust, even in a sealed coffin, is sufficient for me to believe this is the cause of the charring, unless another theory proves otherwise. It is a pity that carter did not have a proper photographic record of how he opened the inner coffin and "unwrapped" the mummy, perhaps he knew he would be condemned? though he was far more careful than was usual for those times. It is said that mummies were usually unwrapped within fifteen minutes, and that Carter took eight days with Tutankhamun. But I think this includes quite some time when nothing was happening except the hiss of the bunsen burners. A pity the photos we have of the mummy before the famous photo of him exposed naked on a tray, are very few and very selective in what they show. Only one photo of the complete and unwrapped mummy still laying in the lower part of the inner coffin, then a few close ups of the arms over the belly showing various bling, some photos of the head carefully disguising that it was decapitated etc. Considering all the other photos that Burton took, this scarcity of photos of the mummy during the unwrapping is not good, and of course we now know why.

Edit for benefit of any who do not know the full story. Carter was unable to remove Tutankhamun from his coffin, so he dismembered him in situ as a better alternative to cutting away the lower half of the coffin from the mummy. He was between a rock and a hard place in this affair.

Edited by Tutankhaten-pasheri, 15 July 2013 - 11:25 AM.


#8    Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 11:37 AM

View Postcladking, on 14 July 2013 - 08:46 PM, said:

I certainly agree that this is hardly worth 2 hours of someone's time.

I was more interested in the speculation about the flooding that appears to have
hidden his tomb and the possibility that more exist.

Given long time periods gasses and liquids can pass through just about anything
including glass.  Large molecules like CO2 are more trapped but snmaller ones
should have little difficulty finding voids and passages between molecules if the
"burn" was very slow.  Higher pressure would likely slow the burn and speed the
exit of gasses.
What I found interesting was the speed with which, in the experiment, the resin began to burn. Of course they did not replicate the conditions within Tutankhamun's coffin so the experiment will have a ? hanging over it. But I was thinking if resin can burn within such a short period of time, then Tutankhamun may have been cooking even before burial. If so, I wonder if anybody noticed, perhaps some smoke coming from the wrapped mummy? I can see a bizarre scenario with Ay performing the opening of the mouth ceremony, seeing a whiff of smoke emerge, or even feeling heat from the mummy, then thinking wtf! and getting it sealed up quickly. I think they would never record this, so we will never know if my idea is ridiculously far fetched, or weirdly true.

Edited by Tutankhaten-pasheri, 15 July 2013 - 11:39 AM.


#9    kmt_sesh

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:17 AM

I'm not familiar with "Ultimate Tut," and while I tend to agree in general terms that the popular media has been saturated by Tutmania, I myself don't really see anything wrong with it. Worse to me is not all the attention to the boy-king but popular literature or TV specials that are badly researched and present inaccuracies—if not just plain, misleading falsehoods.

The discovery of KV62 remains one of the most important archaeological finds of all time, and as is obvious to us all, there is no end in sight for the fascination people have for King Tut. I don't think that's a bad thing. Consider that many people find their love of ancient Egypt because of all of this fuss over Tut. Tut lived during one of the most enigmatic and interesting periods of the New Kingdom—the Amarna Period—and this very short stretch of time in Dynasty 18 remains a very popular research source for many Egyptologists and other professional historians.

If anything, all the Tut fuss has always struck me as somewhat amusing and ironic, given the basic fact that he was, at best, little more than a footnote in the history of Egyptian pharaohs.

All of the extensive and detailed examinations of Tut's mummy (and other mummies from his line) have generated keen interest in professional institutions to study their own mummies closer. I'm a docent at the Field Museum in Chicago, and our own curators have gone on to perform many CT scans on our large collection of Egyptian mummies (as well as Egyptian animal mummies and Peruvian and Chilean mummy bundles). All of this is fascinating to me, and it works for me on another level because two of my favorite topics in the field of Egyptology are forensic anthropology and paleopathology.

Tutankhaten-pasheri already has this other discussion about Tut's mummy and its condition, and I already provided probably too many comments there in my own first post. I don't need to repeat it all, other than to stress that the "burned" nature of Tut's body does not mean he was ever actually on fire but was instead subjected to a chemical process within his coffin. Had there actually ever been any form of fire, obviously, then his linen bandages would've been consumed. But that's enough for now.

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