History Embalmed

King Tut Shrines

The King Tut Tomb
The tomb of Tutankhamun contained four gilded shrines nested one inside the other in order of decreasing size. The innermost shrine contained the red quartzite sarcophagus of King Tut which protected three anthropoid, or man-shaped, coffins. The first two anthropoid coffins were made of gilded wood but the final coffin was made of solid gold. The solid gold coffin housed the mummy of King Tut whichwas directly covered by his fabulous golden death mask. This page describes the King Tut Shrines in further detail.

King Tut Coffin

King Tut Sarcophagus

  • The Tomb of Tutankhamun
  • Tutankhamun  Shrines - What were the Tutankhamun shrines?
  • The four Tutankhamun shrines
  • Description of the Tutankhamun Shrines

King Tut Shrines - What were the Tutankhamun shrines?
What exactly were the King Tut Shrines which covered the sarcophagus and coffins of King Tut and what were their purpose? Definition of shrine: The word 'shrine' is derived from the from the Latin word 'scrinium' meaning a ‘box’.

A shrine was originally a container which was usually made of a precious material. Shrines were especially designed to contain a relic or cult image in a sacred place which was dedicated towards a certain deity. So the King Tut shrines were specific containers dedicated to the living god, Tutankhamun, which were housed in a sacred place - that is the tomb of King Tut.

King Tut Shrines - The four Tutankhamun shrines
The group of four King Tut Shrines and the Tutankhamun Sarcophagus protected the two gilded wooden coffins and amazing solid gold coffin,  which were snugly nested within each other, like Russian dolls. The King Tut Shrines were made of gilded wood and decorated with faience. The faience used by the Ancient Egyptians was a strong greenish blue glass-like material, consisting of crushed quartz, lime and alkali. The gilded wood consisted of cedar and some oak. Gilding was used by the Ancient Egyptians to achieve a wonderful golden appearance. The gilded wood consisted of cedar and some oak. The base wood was covered with a thin sheet of gold and each shrine was copper bound at its lower edge and contained a set of double folding doors. The doors were held shut by ebony bolts.

Description of the King Tut Shrines
A description of each of the King Tut Shrines is as follows:

  • The Outer Shrine of gilded wood measured 16.66ft (or 5.08 meters ) in length x 10.76ft (or 3.28 meters ) in width and 9.02ft (or 2.75 meters ) in height. It  had a double-sloping roof and was decorated with amulets of Isis, hieroglyphs of Osiris and a pair of protective Wadjet eyes. Spells from the Book of the Dead were also inscribed on the inside walls of the shrine. No seal was present on this shrine
  • The second shrine of gilded wood measured measured 12.30 ft (or 3.75 meters ) in length x 7.70 ft (or 2.35 meters) in width and 7.38 ft (or 2.25 meters ) in height. It had an intact seal, a sloping roof and decorations which included a depiction of King Tut before Osiris
  • The third shrine of gilded wood measured 11.15 ft (or 3.4 meters ) in length x 6.29 ft (or 1.92 meters) in width and 7.05 ft  (or 2.15 meters ) in height. The shrine had an intact seal and the roof depicted a solar disc
  • The fourth and innermost shrine of King Tut of gilded wood measured measured 9.51 ft (or 2.9 meters ) in length x 4.85 ft  (or 1.48 meters) in width and 6.23 ft (or 1.9 meters ) in height. This contained the coffins and mummy of Tutankhamun. The door to this shrine had never been sealed 

King Tut Shrines
Each section of this King Tut Shrines website addresses all topics and provides interesting facts and information about the Golden Age of Pharaohs and of Egypt. The Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts provided about the fascinating subject of the Pharaoh King Tut Shrines - Tutankhamun!

Tomb of King Tut

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