Thursday 8 June 2023

The 3,248-year-old rope that sealed King Tut's tomb

More than 3,000 years ago someone sealed one of a series of nested shrines protecting the final resting place of the young pharoah Tutankhamun with an intricate combination of knots and sealed with clay. There it remained, fully intact for more than 32 centuries, until until Feb. 16, 1923, when Howard Carter breached the seal and explored the inner burial chambers for the first time. The rope binding the fifth shrine door to Tut's final rest place benefited from the arid environment of the desert region and the low levels of oxygen of the sealed tomb. Bacteria can break things down as long as they have oxygen. The rope was likely made from the stem of the papyrus plant. It has great longevity in arid conditions thanks to its rot-resistant cellulose.
An analyst thought it would be easy to undo the half hitches and the spiral wrap, but one would not be able to undo the rope between the handles without breaking the seal. Howard Carter cut the rope. Had he not the seal would still be intact to this day.
See ----->Gold of Tutankhamun