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Why Tutankhamun Was Buried in A Solid Gold Coffin

 
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maat
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:47 pm    Post subject: Why Tutankhamun Was Buried in A Solid Gold Coffin Reply with quote

I asked random people since 2017, why Tut was buried in a solid gold coffin?

Everyone answered because he was rich, because he was king, or because he wanted to show off.

The answers don't make sense because there was no space in his tomb for visitors. The gold coffin was inside two wooden ones, in a sarcophagus, inside four shrines, in a sealed chamber inside a sealed tomb, buried under ground. To whom was he showing off?

Let me get a few answers then I'll post what I've found out in studying this since 2013.
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Montuhotep88
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fairly straightforward, as I understand it. Gold was considered to be (either figuratively or literally, depending on the source) the flesh of the gods, so providing him a coffin made of that material was consistent with the belief. Those that couldn't afford solid gold (a vast majority) had to make do with gold leaf or gilding, yellow paint, or at least a light-colored wood... and/or to simply state that it was made of gold, and let magic do the rest!

(Different beliefs at different times notwithstanding. Three thousand years is plenty of time for ideas to change...)
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maat
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there's a misunderstanding about the purposes of myth to convey information. Giorgio de Santillana in his book Hamlet's Mill exposes the misunderstanding.

Tutankhamun was buried in a gold coffin because his burial was designed to last forever. Gold does not chemically change or deteriorate.

The gold coffin inside two wood coffins, a stone sarcophagus and four wood shrines could have survived even if the tomb around it had disintegrated in time. The wood shrines and coffins would have kept disintegrated stone from grinding the gold coffin if the tomb had collapsed. The gold coffin after billions of years would not have changed even if the mummy had turned to dust.
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maat
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ancient Egyptians should be taken more seriously for their statements to prepare burials to last for even millions of years. They were not speaking mystically or magically.

The mystical, magical or spiritual interpretations (I think) are projected from modern conceptions.

The use of a gold coffin suggests that other burials might remain to be found later in time despite even massive flood events such as by building of the Aswan dam.

The ancient Egyptian burials (some if not all) seem to have been designed for robust survival.
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Montuhotep88
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't mean to imply that the Egyptians weren't utterly serious or weren't in earnest. While they didn't have the chemical knowledge to explain why gold doesn't deteriorate, they certainly would have observed it; and the fact that it was shiny and yellowish has obvious solar symbolism and probably accounts for the "flesh of the gods" idea.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maat wrote:
... The ancient Egyptian burials (some if not all) seem to have been designed for robust survival.

" Undisturbed Ancient Egyptian Burial - Flinders Petrie, Qurna, Thebes, 1908 " (National Museums Scotland - Ancient Egyptian Collection)
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maat
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montuhotep88 wrote:
I didn't mean to imply that the Egyptians weren't utterly serious or weren't in earnest. While they didn't have the chemical knowledge to explain why gold doesn't deteriorate, they certainly would have observed it; and the fact that it was shiny and yellowish has obvious solar symbolism and probably accounts for the "flesh of the gods" idea.


I didn't mean to suggest you implied they were not serious. My statement was meant generally.

As for any chemical knowledge in the modern sense, I have no findings to indicate they had scientific knowledge of chemistry but other findings leave me open to consider they might have had such knowledge. They knew that limestone and acids produced gas (CO2).
Regardless, they knew that gold does not oxidize while other metals do.
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maat
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lutz, thank you once again.
I encountered the Qurna reference but never looked into or knew anything specific about the burial.
I will take a look. It seems standard.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maat wrote:
... They knew that limestone and acids produced gas (CO2). ...

Piece of evidence?
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Unas
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea that gold was valuable was hardly an exclusively Egyptian phenomenon--this concept exists in many cultures throughout history. Even today countries stockpile gold. It makes me wonder why humans have consistently placed extra value on that specific material.
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