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King Tut's Tomb - 100th Anniversary Edition

One-hundred years ago, on a hot Egyptian day in the Valley of the Kings. A water boy supplying the dig team of Egyptologist Howard Carter tripped over a stone, which when uncovered became the first in a series of steps cut deep into the ground. What he’d found was what Carter and his Financier, the Earl of Cavernon, had spent the last few years searching for.

The Tomb of King Tutankhamun, while small compared to the other Royal Tombs in the Valley of the Kings, was special. It had been intact for three-thousand years. And in that time it had become a view into another world.

When Carter and Cavernon first broke a small hole through the plaster doorway, they became the first people since the Bronze Age to view the treasures within. Cavernon asked Carter what he could see. To which Carter replied: “Wonderful things!” Over the next few years, Carter would meticulously catalogue every item found within, before removing it to be conserved and studied.

There are four rooms in all, each of which can be individually removed if you want a closer look:

The Antechamber is the long room connected to the stairway. When it was first opened, Carter found tables styled like ferocious animals, a horse-drawn chariot, boxes full of dried food and seeds, pots with bouquets of flowers that crumbled to the touch, and on either side of the sealed entrance to the burial chamber he found two large statues, each standing guard.

The Annex is the smaller chamber connected to the Antechamber. The entrance had been torn open by ancient robbers long ago, but it was still full of priceless items and artefacts. There was a bed, cushions, glass fruits, walking sticks, a golden trumpet, shabtis (tiny statues meant to serve the King in the afterlife), and two beautifully crafted golden shields.

The Burial chamber is the largest room and the only one with decoration. The walls depict the King as the God Osiris, receiving offerings from his successor, King Ay. Tutankhamun himself was found within his three golden sarcophagi, which were placed inside a large red granite sarcophagus, which was surrounded by three golden shrines, each with two doors. Surrounding it all a collection of oars and other items, including a trumpet of silver to go with the one of gold.

The Treasury is connected to the burial chamber. The most striking feature is the golden shrine surrounding the box containing the King’s organs, placed within Canopic jars. In front of it is a statue of the god Anubis as a crouching black jackal, forever standing watch over it. To either side are boxes and tiny shrines containing statues of gods and goddesses. Along with more shabtis and a lock of hair from Tut’s grandmother, Queen Tiye.

The set comes with three minifigures: Lord Cavernon, who financed Carter’s excavations and searches for the tomb. Howard Carter, who discovered and excavated the tomb. And King Tutankhamun himself, holding a walking stick due to his limp.

In total the set contains 1096 pieces. And while downsized, it is a relatively accurate model of the tomb. Each item inside is based on real counterparts found inside the tomb. It provides an interactive way to learn about the practices and religion of Ancient Egypt, as well as the famous King Tut. I can think of no better way for LEGO to celebrate the monumental anniversary of a monumental discovery.

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