2014/01/18

Perfume Container of Tutankhamun

 Unguent Vase with Magnificent Symbols of Unification of Tutankhamun

It was found between the doors of the first (outermost) and the second of the four large shrines situated around the sarcophagus, coffins and mummy of Tutankhamun in the burial chamber.

The vessel has a long neck with two handles, better known as “amphora” because it is similar to vessels used by Greeks and Romans taking the same shape and they used to contain wine or oil.

  Unguent Vase with Magnificent Symbols of Unification of Tutankhamun


The stopper of this container is now missing. Most probably it took the form of the king or the head of the king because we can see GODDESS NEKHBET stretching her wings around that missing figure which was probably made out of precious stone or gold and it was stolen or missing for any other reasons.

Over the body of the amphora there are two columns of hieroglyphic inscriptions giving the names and titles of the king and his wife the queen.

The handles are made in openwork representing the “sematawy”, sign of the unification of the two lands. There are two standing figures of GOD HAPY: HAPY MEHYT and HAPY SHEMAYT (Hapi mHyt and Hapi Smayt) tying the Lotus and Papyrus together as a sign of unification.

HAPI MEHYT: the northern HAPI was represented with a clump of papyrus over his head while HAPI SHEMAYT: the southern HAPI was represented with lotus flowers.

The ancient Egyptians used to differentiate between the Nile itself, which they called itrw wr or itrw aA and the Nile inundation, which they deified in the form of HAPI.

HAPI was the representation of the flood, the ancient Egyptians used to call the arrival of the flood as the arrival of HAPI.

HAPI was represented combining the male and female features together (the hermaphrodite form). He is depicted with the heavy breasts and swollen belly of a woman and the rest of the body of a man as a sign of fertility. Sometimes he would carry an offering table heaped with different kind of offerings like fish, birds and flowers like lotus and papyrus.

HAPI didn't have a particular cult centre, he was worshipped all over Egypt from the North to the South but he was believed to live in ASWAN and Gabal El Selsela near the first cataract of the NILE, where he was thought to dwell in the caverns among the rocks.

Another symbolism for the unification of the two lands is represented in the 2 columns behind the two Hapys. These columns are decorated with papyrus and lotus and each one is surmounted by a cobra, one of these two cobras is wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt while the other is wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt.

THE NILE GOD is standing up on a pedestal, which is decorated with openwork decoration, which shows 2 figures of Rahorakhty outstretching their wings to protect the cartouches of the king TUTANKHAMUN on the long sides, all resting on the nbw sign.

The short sides depict representations of the winged serpent protecting the cartouches of the king between its wings.



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