Tutankhamun and his wife Ankhesenamun in a Garden

Tutankhamun and his wife Ankhesenamun in a garden
Tutankhamun and his wife Ankhesenamun in a garden

Among the series of ornamental caskets, a much ill-treated but wonderful specimen was found at the northern end of the chamber. The lid was thrown in one corner, while the empty casket itself was heaved into another, and its legs and panels damaged by the weight of material heaped upon it. Although its ornamentation comprises an ivory veneer, beautifully carved in relief and stained with simple colors, it has borders of encrusted faience and semi-translucent calcite.

Box with Carved Scenes of Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 61477
Box with Carved Scenes of Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 61477

The central panel of the lid is certainly the unsigned work of a master but in contradistinction, to the warlike scenes, the motive here is purely domestic. It depicts the young king and queen in a pavilion bedecked with vines and festoons of flowers. The royal couple wearing floral collarettes and dressed in semi-court attire face one another; the king leaning slightly on his staff accepts from his consort bouquets of papyrus and lotus-blooms; while in a frieze below two court maidens gather flowers and the fruit of the mandrake for their charges. Above their Majesties are short inscriptions: ‘The beautiful God, Lord of the Two Lands, Neb.khepru.Re, Tut.ankh.Amen, Prince of the Southern Heliopolis, resembling Re.’ ‘The Great-Royal-Wife, Lady of The Two Lands, Ankh.es.en.Amen, May she live.’

The subjects of the side and end panels pertain to the chase, their compositions being friezes of animals, and the king and queen fowling and fishing. As to the contents of the casket, when deposited in the tomb, we can only make a conjecture.

When found in the tomb, it contained sandals, cult robes, necklaces, a headrest, and a belt. King Tutankhamun is seen with his queen Ankhesenamun, who is handing him bouquets of lotus and papyri. Flowers surround them. Detail from a box with carved scenes of Tutankhamun and his queen Ankhesenamun.

From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 61477

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