by Robert Kittle
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the South Carolina State Museum is bringing back its most popular exhibit ever-King Tut. More than 120,000 people saw it when it was at the museum in 2003.
The exhibit contains 124 replicas of items found in King Tut's tomb, including a reproduction of his mummified remains, a golden shrine that contained his embalmed organs, and the item that's best known by most people, his funerary mask.
"These are exact replicas of the original treasures of King Tut, made in Egypt by Egyptian artisans, and they're stunning," says State Museum spokesman Tut Underwood. Yes, that is his name, a nickname he's had since he was a baby. "It's a complete coincidence, but I'm the only Tut most people have ever met," he says.
The actual items taken from King Tut's tomb are in Cairo, Egypt, and they're not being released anymore.
King Tut has fascinated the public ever since his tomb was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. "The discovery of his tomb was the greatest archaeological find of all time in 1922, and it remains so to this day. No other find has been this rich, this significant," Underwood says. "And also, King Tut's tomb, even though he was a minor pharaoh, was the only one that wasn't robbed by grave robbers and just cleaned out over the centuries."
The exhibit also contains reproductions of Tut's golden chariot, a golden bed, his throne and mummy case.
The exhibit opens to the public on Saturday, June 22nd, and will run through March 23rd, 2014.