Howard Carter found the fragments of Tutankhamun corselet in various places around the antechamber of the tomb. Some were contained in three small chests and a small gilded wooden shrine, while others lay on the ground in the antechamber and the corridor. The precious object was probably damaged by thieves as they rummaged through the chests looking for easily removable objects of value. The painstaking restoration of the corselet took Carter and his associates for a long time.
The king wore the corselet during state ceremonies. Made of several parts, the two rectangular bands that circled the torso were decorated with a motif of small plumes made of colored glass paste. They were joined by straps in the form of two broad collars made from rows of gold and glass paste beads.
Two pendants were joined to the collars: the front one portrays Amun-Re on the left offering Tutankhamun a palm branch (the symbol of time) and the sign of eternal life (the ankh). The king wears the blue crown and is accompanied by the god Atum and the goddess Iusaaset, his consort. The scene is dominated by a sun disk made from carnelian from which two cobras emerge. The figures are made from gold with inlays of semi-precious stones, ivory, and glass paste.
The pectoral centers on a scarab beetle with a sun disc set in the body of a falcon. The composite creature holds two ankh signs in its talons. It is flanked by two uraei. The uraeus on the right wears the crown of Lower Egypt. The one on the left has the crown of Upper Egypt. Each uraeus has an ankh hanging from its coil.
Although royal corslets were known of from wall paintings and decorations, a complete one had never been found before the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.
From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 62627