Sandro Vannini’s Photography – The Ceremonial Chariot

The State Chariot, one of six ceremonial chariots found inside the Tomb of King Tutankhamun. Image Copyright - Sandro Vannini.There were six Ceremonial Chariots discovered in the Tomb of King Tutankhamun (KV62), all dismantled in order to be able to take them down through the narrow corridors. In addition to the discovered chariots were miscellaneous fittings which would have belonged to other chariots. Sandro Vannini, the Egyptology photographer who has captured on film some of most stunning artefacts in history, took photographs of the State Chariot – the most beautifully decorated of the six found in the chamber – and the images are bought exclusively to the internet by Heritage Key.

The discovery of the ceremonial chariots were made by the great explorer Howard Carter and funded by Lord Carnarvon, and you can watch a Heritage Key video with the descendants of Lord Carnarvon, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon who talk about the relationship between the two men (Watch the video).

‘Ceremonial Chariots’ Slideshow

Heritage Key is working with Sandro and bringing his extensive catalogue of beautiful photography of Egyptian antiquities onto the world wide web, which we’re sure will fascinate even the most hardcore Egyptologist! To watch a slideshow of the Ceremonial Chariot, simply click any of the thumbnails below.

Explore KV62 for yourself in King Tut Virtual

But it doesn’t stop there, as you can also visit King Tut Virtual and see digital recreations of many of the famous artefacts from KV62, walk through the Valley of the Kings, explore the banks of the River Nile in Ancient Egyptian times and even see more of Sandro Vannini’s photography in the virtual gallery.

Sandro Vannini’s Photography

After spending over a decade in Egypt, photographing some of the world’s most fascinating treasures from the collection kept at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Sandro has gained the experience and skills needed to make such beautiful artefacts come to live in his photography. Naturally, the equipment he uses plays a strong role too, and Sandro employs the use of a Hasselblad ELD Ixpress 528C camera to take these images. You can also see more of Sandro’s fantastic photography in his new book with the Director of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr Zahi Hawass, “The Lost Tombs of Thebes:Life in Paradise” as well as reading about Sandro’s experiences of shooting the photographs in Thebes on Heritage Key, and watching the video about the Lost Tombs of Thebes featuring Dr Zahi Hawass and Dr Janice Kamrin.

Of course, not everyone would be able to make that trip to Cairo to see the beautiful artefacts that the Egyptian Museum holds, so Heritage Key brings Sandro’s stunning photography of the Ceremonial Chariot of the Tomb of King Tut. But there’s more: you can visit virtual replicas of Tutankhamun treasures in the Heritage Key VX King Tut exhibition, which features a virtual replica of many other breath-taking artefacts such as the Golden Mask of King Tutankhamun.

Don’t miss out on new treasures!

This post is part of a series focussing on amazing photographs from ancient Egypt. Keep checking back as well keep adding new images by Sandro Vannini. To make sure you don’t miss out on any of the updates, simply subscribe by email to receive notifications when new images are uploaded. For the more digitally advanced, there’s also an RSS feed with updates available.

See More Amazing Photography by Sandro

Have a look at some of the other stunning photographs by Sandro Vannini here at Heritage Key:

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We’ll be sitting down with our favourite photographer for an extended chat soon, so if you have any questions for Sandro we’ll send the answers straight to you!

The Ceremonial Chariots

The chariot was strongly associated with Kings throughout the Ancient Egyptian era, as the Pharaoh would be depicted as the key figure in battles, shooting arrows into the war zone. King Tutankhamun is shown on the Hunting Box in a chariot, firing arrows at Syrians and beasts, and was used by the 18th Dynasty Pharaohs as a powerful war vehicle. The concept of the chariot was first introduced two centuries prior by Hyksos.

The discovery of six chariots in the Tomb of King Tutankhamun was a significant find, as only two others have been found, as well as fragments of chariots discovered in the various tombs of the Valley of the Kings. The State Chariot is made of wood, which was then gessoed and gilded to give it its fine golden finish. The engravings were then impressed on top to complete the decor of the chariot.

The chariot boasts many engravings relating to the king’s victories over his enemies, and similarly to the Cosmetic Jar with Recumbent Lion, the Nubian and Asiatic enemies are shown being defeated in literal senses. The bodies of the two nemesis are shown being bent back in an awkwardly uncomfortable pose, cursed to eternal pain and misery, on the wooden yokes. On the inside of the chariot itself, a scene shows the two plants of Upper and Lower Egypt – the papyrus and the lily stalk – being used to bind the enemies of Ancient Egypt.

The god Bes is also prominent in the State Chariot, being carved from wood and covered in gold, with its tongue made from ivory. The god Bes, who is the god of the household and family, appears in several places around the chariot, and would serve to protect the occupants (usually the King, who would sometimes be accompanied by the Queen) and ensure no harm would come to them.

Many of the fragments and fittings were found loose with the chariots and were then carefully reassembled and put on display inside the Egyptian Museum, Cairo including the stunning State Chariot.

HD Video: King Tut Revealed The Treasure

You can learn more about the treasures found in King Tut’s tomb in this fascinating video with Dr Zahi Hawass, where he discusses some of his favourite artefacts found inside the burial tomb. Also check out the Related Videos where you can watch Dr Janice Kamrin touring the Egyptian Museum, Cairo and talking about the various artefacts housed there.

(Click here for the transcript of this video)

You can look at the Heritage Keys video page for all our videos to date and see more archaeologists working in Ancient Egypt. Additionally, you can find out more about Ancient Egypt here at Heritage Key, and if you want to do some discovery of your own, you can explore KV62 – King Tutankhamun’s tomb – in 3D in our exciting virtual experience! Also be sure to keep up to date on all new postings about Sandro’s photography from Egypt by subscribing to our feed, simply by entering your email address above.