The Ceremonial Throne of Tutankhamun

The high curved back of the Ceremonial Throne of Tutankhamun is fitted to a stool with crossed legs carved to represent the necks and heads of ducks. The deeply curved seat (designed to hold a cushion) is inlaid with ebony and ivory in imitation of a spotted animal skin.

The glory of this chair is the back; it is made of wood covered with gold foil and is inlaid with semi-precious stones and colored glass. On the upper part of the back, we see the vulture goddess with her outspread wings protecting the names of the king. It seems that this throne was made early in the reign of Tutankhamun because of his name, which is written in the royal cartouche as Tutankhaten.

Ceremonial Throne of Tutankhamun
Ceremonial Throne of Tutankhamun

It is often called ‘Tutankhamun’s Ecclesiastical throne’ in association with the bishop’s seats of the middle ages in Europe. It was most probably used by the king during hunting and we deduce this from the decoration especially on the seat of the throne.

The back of the chair is decorated at the top with a frieze of cobras or uraeus with the sun disk above their heads. The center is interrupted by the “Aten” disk under which there are its divine cartouches. This shows an obvious Amarna influence and also indicates that this chair dates from the transitional stage between the worship of Aten and the Amun revolution. Below this frieze, the vulture goddess Nekhbet spreading her wings holding the Shen sign and a fan.

From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62). Collection of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 62030