The Ceremonial Throne of Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun Ceremonial Throne

The chair in ancient Egypt, as in many eastern countries, was considered the symbol of authority and prestige. Six chairs were buried with Tutankhamen in his tomb, scattered throughout the Antechamber and the Annexe.

This chair was found in the Annexe and it was tied up with strips of linen. The original plan for this chair that it was supposed to be a folding stool but it seems that it was not successful, so the back and supporting pieces of wood were added later. It’s mainly made out of ebony covered with gold leaf and richly inlaid with ivory, coloured glass, faience and semi-precious stones. 

 Tutankhamun Ceremonial Throne

It is often called ‘Tutankhamun’s Ecclesiastical throne’ in association with the Bishop’s seats of the Middle Ages in Europe.

It was most probably used by the king during hunting and we deduce this from the decoration especially on the seat of the throne. We can see that, it is decorated with an imitation of a spotted animal skin, may be cheetah or a Nubian goat complete with representations of the animal tail and legs under the seat providing an excellent hunting atmosphere.




The back of the chair is decorated at the top with a frieze of cobras “Ureaus” with the sun disk above their heads. The centre is interrupted by the “Aten” disk under which there are its divine cartouches. This shows an obvious Amarna influence and also indicates that this chair dates from the transitional  stage between the worship of Aten and the Amun revolution. Below this frieze, the vulture goddess Nekhbet spreading her wings holding the Shen sign and a fan. She is flanked on both sides by the cartouches of the king carrying the names: “Nebkheprure” and “Tutankaten”. The geometric inlays of the back contain three vertical columns of text, in which the king is also referred to as Tutankaten. The only representation of Tutankamun’s name on this chair is present in two horizontal rows made of ebony and enclose the decoration. These names were possibly added after the Amon revolution.

 Tutankhamun Ceremonial Throne

The double curve of the seat is decorated with imitations of a wild animal skin (probably a cheetah or a Nubian goat) complete with representations of the animal tail and legs under the seat providing an excellent hunting atmosphere. The double curve was intended to provide the most comfortable way of seating for the king, which also mean adding a cushion.

 The folding mechanism is decorated with geese heads may be either a symbol for god Amon (as the goose was one of his sacred animals) or to signify ‘fear’ which was a word represented in ancient Egyptian language with the determinative of a slaughtered goose (snD). To the front and the back of the folding mechanism, there once existed an open work pattern of smA tAwy partly broken by tomb robbers.


The Ceremonial Throne of Tutankhamun

The Ceremonial Throne of Tutankhamun

  The rectangular footstool is similarly made out of wood or ebony inlaid with ivory, coloured glass and semi-precious stone. Its top surface is divided into two parts, each stacked horizontally with alternating Nubian and Asiatic bound captives, which denotes the nine traditional enemies of Egypt. They are imprisoned under the ‘sandals’ or feet of His majesty for all eternity.

 At the back there is a representation of the vulture goddess Nekhbet and the Udjat eyes of Horus sign of protection.

 P.S. The –aten form of Tutankamun’s name is again found in the texts on the back of the chair.


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