Tutankhamun’s tomb is the gift that keeps on giving, it seems, as archaeologists continue to uncover new “treasures” after examining, for the first time, embossed gold applications on artifacts recovered from the famed tomb.
The objects, along with the tomb itself, were previously unearthed by English archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922 and, for decades, had been stowed away in the Egyptian Museum. Now, archaeologists from Tübingen University have painstakingly restored and analyzed the motifs adorning the tomb a century after the historical discovery. And according to their observations, the art on the motifs – images of battling animals and goats – is foreign to Egypt and betrays strong Middle Eastern, specifically levantine, aesthetic influence.
“Presumably these motifs, which were once developed in Mesopotamia, made their way to the Mediterranean region and Egypt via Syria,” says Peter Pfälzner, leader of the team of archaeologists and conservators. According to the lead archaeologist, the images from the Pharaoh’s tomb resemble those previously found on a tomb in the Syrian Royal city of Qatna, discovered during a dig in 2002.
“This again shows the great role that ancient Syria played in the dissemination of culture during the Bronze Age.”
The next step, says Pfälzner, lies in solving the riddle of how the foreign motifs came to be adopted in Egypt to begin with.