National Geographic : 2014 Dec
Ancient Worlds EXPLORE PHOTOS: CHRISTIAN ECKMANN, RÖMISCH-GERMANISCHES ZENTRALMUSEUM, MAINZ, GERMANY (TOP); LONDON TIMES/NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE When King Tut was buried in Egypt in about 1322 b.c ., his treasure-filled tomb included two exceptionally ornate, gild- ed chariots. These vehicles were the limousines of their day, intended for parades and other grand occasions. They were put on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo shortly after archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the teenage pharaoh’s final resting place in 1922. But the decorated gold foil pieces from their leather trappings were sent to storage. The long-neglected artifacts are finally getting attention, following the launch of a German-Egyptian project to study and restore them. Experts are now working on the gold, leather, and adhe- sives and puzzling over the embossed scenes. This piece (left)—likely from the lid to an archery bow’s case—shows a dog and a mythical winged animal at- tacking an ibex. “This is not a motif that is familiar in Egypt,” says Christian Eckmann, the project’s metal expert. He and his colleagues will look for clues to where this art was made—in the region of Syria, perhaps, where such designs were common, or in Egypt itself, with designs borrowed from abroad. —A . R . Williams Royal Gold One of about a hundred artifacts be- ing studied, this gold foil measures 7.6 inches along its flat edge. Workers used a wooden tray to remove items from the under- ground tomb.