Tutankhamun & Muhammad Ali Mosque
TUTANKHAMUN - The Egyptian Museum in Cairo contains the most extensive collection of Pharaonic artifacts, but the most important collection is that of the funerary items from the tomb of Tutankhamun.
After the tomb's discovery in the Valley of the Kings on November 4th 1922 by Howard Carter, much of the contents were transferred to this great museum. The inner coffin, of three sarcophagi, is made of 450 pounds of solid gold. It is one of the finest examples of the goldsmiths' work of all time.
These are some of the only treasures from a Pharaonic tomb as all the others were taken by tomb robbers shortly after their completion. As Tutankhamun is thought to have been murdered at the age of 18, this treasure may have paled to insignificance compared to that of greater Pharaohs!
By far the most important amulet in ancient Egypt was the scarab, symbolically as sacred to the Egyptians as the cross is to Christians. The Winged Scarab was the symbol of rebirth which Tutankhamun wore as an amulet on his chest.
Another ornamental breastplate belonging to Tutankhamun, was that of the goddess Nekhbet in the form of a vulture. Clasped in its claws are two amulets in the shape of the 'Shenu' sign. This is the sign of coiled rope surrounding all the cartouches of the Pharaohs and is considered powerfully protective.
|The full face of the funeral mask of the Pharoah Tutankhamun in the Egyptian Museum||A more close-up view of the funeral mask of Tutankhamun showing the craftsmanship|
|Part of the magnificent gold coffin of Tutankhamun in the Egyptian Museum||Part of one of the inner decorated coffins of Tutankhamun also in the Egyptian Museum|
|The ornate gold back to Tutankhamun's throne found in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings||Granite Sphinx of Tuthmosis III, also in the Egyptian Museum|
THE MOSQUE OF MUHAMMAD ALI - Dominating the Citadel (el-Qal'a) is this imposing mosque which appears particularly impressive because of its ivory colour. Inside, the ornately coloured dome gives the impression of enormous space.
Muhammad Ali (1769-1849) was born in Greece of Albanian origin! He was with the Albanian troops which helped free Egypt from the French in 1800 and subsequently became their Commander. In 1805, following Egytian revolution he took over as Governor. The Mosque was built in 1830 by a Turkish architect who took his inspiration from the Aya Sophia in Istanbul.
|A view of the exterior of the Muhammad Ali Mosque which gives some idea of the ivory colour.||Inside the Mosque looking up at the ornately designed and brightly coloured dome|
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