The Third Outer Shrine of Tutankhamun
The third outer shrine of Tutankhamun is of similar design to the second, with a sloping roof and somewhat smaller dimensions. It is gilded over its entire surface and decorated in sunk relief with vignettes and extracts from Egyptian religious texts. The sides of the shrine are inscribed with abridged versions of the second and sixth divisions of the Book of What Is in the Underworld (the Amduat).
The outer faces of the doors and back panel of the shrine are inscribed with extracts from spell 148 of the Book of the Dead, and carry representations of four ram-headed guardian figures and four heralds, each grasping one or two knives and variously represented as human-headed, antelope-headed of crocodile-headed.
This funerary literature describes the journey of the sun god through the 12 hours of the night, from its setting to its rising in the morning.These textual depictions function to inform and protect the king in his journey in the underworld.
The walls of the shrines were decorated both inside and out with texts and vignettes, or scenes, from the Book of What is in the Underworld, “The Amduat”, and from the Book of the Sacred Cow, “The Legend of the Destruction of Mankind”.
Detail of a gate guardian deity from the realm of the Underworld, detail of the third outer golden shrine of Tutankhamun, decorated with scenes from the ‘Book of the Dead’ to aid the king’s journey after death.
From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 60667