Tutankhamun’s Mummy Has Had a Pretty Bad Time

Image credit: Jon Bodsworth, photographer, badass.

Tutankhamun is arguably the most famous Egyptian Pharaoh in history, which is want to happen when your corpse is buried in a solid gold sarcophagi with your own god-damn face on it.  But did you know when the corpse of the Boy Pharaoh was first revealed to the public 8 decades after it was discovered, it had to be stored in a special case because he was so popular.

Weirdly, while Tutankhamun’s aforementioned solid gold sarcophagi is one of the best known and preserved historical artefacts on Earth, his actual body was treated like a day old Subway sandwich. When the archaeological team helmed by Howard Carter first found Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1925, they unceremoniously cut the body of the Pharaoh into 18 pieces. According to this National Geographic article, Carter and his team cut the body apart to remove several jewels that had been attached to his body with a type of resin they used to embalm mummies back then. Because apparently, “shiny rocks” were more valuable to Carter and his team than the PERFECTLY PRESERVED BODY OF A LONG DEAD EGYPTIAN PHARAOH!

But we digress, in the years that followed the discovery of Tutankhamun’s body it was eventually restored to an acceptable level by experts who then put it on display in the burial chamber in which he was first found in the Valley of the Kings. In 2007, for the first time in history, King Tut’s tomb was opened to the public for a modest fee. However, the experts who painstakingly restored Tutankhamun’s body and respectfully put it back into his tomb for the public to enjoy failed to take into account one very key fact, the tomb was literally designed to never have anyone else stand in it.

A room this pimp
If that’s the case, why make it this pimp?

The sheer number of people flooding into Tutankhamun’s burial chamber resulted in a notable increase in the humidity levels which risked literally causing Tutankhamun to turn to dust. The problem got so severe that in 2008, the number of visitors to the tomb was reduced to 350 per day, in 2010, it was closed to the public for an undisclosed period of time so vital restorative work could take place.

To help prevent Tutankhamun’s corpse from dissolving into a pile of royal goo during this period, it was stored in a custom made “climate controlled” glass case. Which is just a fancy was of saying they crammed King Tut into a box so that the breath of overweight tourists wouldn’t make his skin melt. Man, that guy just hasn’t had a break since we dug him up, has he?