Tutankhamun Head of Nefertem
The Head of Nefertem (also known as the Head from the Lotus Bloom or Tutankhamun as the Sun God). An unusual and appealing small head that is a masterpiece; it was found by Howard Carter at the entrance to King Tutankhamun’s tomb. The head is that of the king tut with very beautiful features, modeled in the Amarna style and emerging from an open lotus flower.
The base is painted blue to represent the water in which the flower grows. It is a powerful symbol because the lotus flower closes its petals at dusk and opens them again at dawn, facing east to greet the rising sun. Thus, the emerging lotus is the symbol of the sun, which is regenerated each morning after its nightly journey to the regions of the underworld. This beautiful sculpture was placed in the tomb to wish the king eternal life.
Speak his name softly. Tutankhamun.
Treasured antiquity sealed in a tomb.
Now, weave us a tapestry, silver and gold.
Sing us a song of him, centuries old.
— Narrated by Orson Welles in ‘Tut, The Boy King’, 1977
The partially damaged head of Nefertem or Nefertum is carved out of wood and is 30 centimeters (12 in) high. The stucco coating is painted red, though large sections have been damaged; Carter attributed this to its seizure by Egyptian authorities in 1924. The eyebrows, the typically Egyptian kohl eye liner, and the pupils of the bust were painted in dark blue.
The head of the king is completely shaved, but shaven stubble in the form of black paint is visible. The head has Tutankhamun’s facial features and depicts him as a child. As on his golden death mask, Tutankhamun’s ears are pierced. Of all the artifacts found to date, this head is the only depiction of him as a child.
Found at the entrance of his tomb (KV62). Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 60723