Dr. Zahi Hawass, the charismatic Secretary General of Eygpt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, and chief bodyguard of Egypt’s ancient treasures, likes to make revelations to the media -and he didn’t disappoint atWednesday’s press preview of the final leg of ‘Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs’, set to open at the Discovery Times Square Exposition onApril 23th. He announced, with a typical flourish of portentousness, that King Tut’s chariot will be arriving in about a month to augment the exhibition, which has already toured 7 cities and attracted 7 million visitors.
“It is a masterpiece that has never travelled,” said Hawass, adding it’s quite possible Tutankhamun was riding this very chariot when he had the accident that may have killed him. Hawass said he was just finishing up the paperwork to get the chariot over to New York. “It will be the biggest news in town!” he declared.
The Chariot of Tutankhamun is one of six chariots discovered by Howard Carter at the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922. Most were elaborate vehicles with golden overlays, designed for use in celebrations or when the king led his forces in battle. This chariot is different. It doesn’t look like any of the others, and it has a simpler and lighter construction than the others. Maybe it was King Tut‘s hunting chariot, or just a fun, nimble knock-around – the 18th dynasty’s equivalent of a privileged young man’s sports car.
A preview of the exhibition, and more on Hawass follows shortly.