Treasures of Ancient Egypt Day 13: treasure chest bearing the name of Tutankhamun

When we looked at the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, we noted the moment at which Howard Carter began to get excited. It was the moment he spotted a seal low down on the tomb door, bearing the name Neb-Kheperu-Re (Lord of Manifestations of Re). This was the throne name of Tutankhamun.

Ancient Egyptian pharaohs had four or five names, but the most-used were the throne name (prenomen) and the personal name (nomen). The personal name Tutankhamun (inscribed on the treasure chest above) means Living Image of Amun. You often see it with the phrase ‘Ruler of southern Heliopolis’ after it.

In hieroglyphs, royal names were usually enclosed within special oval shapes called (in French) ‘cartouches’. Jean-Francois Champollion (who we met on Day 4 of this series) was the first person to realize this fact, and it was an important key to the decryption of the Rosetta Stone.

Here is a breakdown of the names Tutankhamun Heka-ainu and Neb Kheperure.

It is important that you can recognize these two royal names, because we will see them both tomorrow when we examine the ‘wishing cup’, Howard Carter’s favourite item among all of Tutankhamun’s treasures.

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Stephen Davies

Children's author: picture books, chapter books and YA novels

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