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National Geographic Treasures of Egypt
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Four miniature coffins Photograph by Kenneth Garrett,
Egyptian Museum, Cairo

NGM September 1998

King Tutankhamun’s organs were laid reverentially in four miniature coffins placed in an alabaster chest topped with the same carved face. Was this Tut’s likeness? We don’t know, but the sacred cobra and vulture on the headdresses speak of royalty. For kings, supervising preparations for their death was every bit as important as ruling the country day to day. They believed their bodies needed to be preserved for travel into the afterlife, where they would be reunited with their fellow gods.

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Download: 15 inches (38 centimeters) or smaller Download: 15 inches (38 centimeters) or larger Ramses II temple Modern fishermen afloat on the Nile Three Pyramids Book of the Dead Four miniature coffins Valley of the Kings Temple at Deir el Bahri The necropolis seal Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure Temple complex at Thebes