A chariot once owned by Tutankhamun, the boy-pharaoh who ruled Egyptmore than 3,300 years ago, is to travel to New York to join an exhibition on the king’s life and death, Culture Minister Faruq Hosni said.
A light vehicle with worn tires, the chariot is thought to have been used for hunting expeditions by the young king — and may have contributed to his death, according to the Supreme Council of Antiquities, which cited Hosni in an e-mailed statement today. Computerized tomography, or CT, scans of Tutankhamun’s mummified body indicate the young king fractured his left leg shortly before he died, possibly after falling from his chariot, the council said.
“As we discover more about Tutankhamun’s death, we may find that this very chariot is an important piece of the puzzle that we’re been working for decades to solve,” said council Secretary-General Zahi Hawass in the statement. Besides the fracture, recent medical research suggests the king was also suffering from malaria and a form of sickle-cell disease, he said.
Exhibits from Tutankhamun’s tomb that have toured the U.S., Canada and Europe since 2005 have netted Egypt $100 million, Hawass said in an interview in January. The government has also been renovating ancient sites such as the Valley of the Kings, where the boy-pharaoh’s tomb was discovered in 1922, to increase revenue from foreign visitors.
Tourism, which accounts for 12.6 percent of jobs, is one of Egypt’s main sources of foreign currency and brought in $10.76 billion last year, according to the tourism ministry.
The chariot, which is traveling outside the country for the first time in three millennia, will be exhibited at the Discovery Times Square Exposition in New York.
Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin