Tutankhamun Box with Djed and Tyet Signs

This rectangular box with djed and tyet signs was found in the annex of the tomb of Tutankhamun. It stands on four slim elegant legs and the panels are made of cedar wood. At the bottom of the box is an alternating decoration of fretwork hieroglyphs.

The Tyet sign, the symbol of the blood of Isis as well as the knot in the girdle of Isis, or “a magical amulet for protection,” and the Djed sign stand on the “Neb” sign for gold. The inside of the box is divided into two sections and it possibly contained the king’s linen. Both the mushroom-shaped handles of the box and the lid are gilded wood and have been incised with the king’s cartouches.

Tutankhamun's Box Decorated with Tyet and Djed Signs
Tutankhamun’s Box Decorated with Tyet and Djed Signs

The djed pillar is a hieroglyph meaning “stability” and “eternity”, and is interpreted as the backbone of Osiris. Because every deceased person becomes an Osiris, the djed pillar will protect his backbone. It is a guarantee that he will be reborn.

The tyet, sometimes called the knot of Isis or girdle of Isis, is an ancient Egyptian symbol that came to be connected with the goddess Isis.

From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 61447