Sandro Vannini’s Photography – External Trappings of the Tutankhamun Mummy

The Crook and Flail from King Tut's External Trappings of the mummy. Image Credit - Sandro Vannini.Renowned photographer Sandro Vannini has spent several years capturing beautiful images of the treasures held at the Cairo Museum in Egypt, and Heritage Key brings the results exclusively on the internet. Although it was the Golden Mask of Tutankhamun which captivated the world when KV62 was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922, Tutankhamun’s tomb was adorned with several thousands of other artefacts including the External Trappings of the Mummy, sewn into the linen bandages. But why make that expensive trip to Cairo when you can see Sandro’s beautiful photography of them, or even view them in 3D in our King Tut Virtual exhibition for free.

‘King Tut’s External Trappings’ Slideshow

Heritage Key is working together with Sandro to make his stunning photography from Egypt for you to view, which we’re sure will please even the most hardcore Egyptomaniac, available on the internet. To watch a slideshow of King Tut’s External Trappings, just click the thumbnails below.

See it for yourself in King Tut VX

To get an immersing, 360 degree view of the External Trappings of the Mummy in 3D, all you need to do is register for your avatar in our quick and easy process, and you can start exploring King Tut Virtual. The video below holds a quick preview, but this is nothing compared to standing directly next to the external trappings, close enough to (virtually) touch it.

Sandro Vannini’s Photography

caption Sandro Vannini, who has spent decades behind the lens, has developed an eye for details and the skill to make a photograph come to life. The photographs Sandro took with his Hasselblad ELD Ixpress 528C camera demonstrate the results of his experience, showing the gold and precious stones meticulously carved onto these artefacts in perfect light and angles.

It was these very photographs which were used as the base to recreate the fabulous external trappings of King Tutankhamun’s mummy in our King Tut Virtual exhibition which contains many of the key artefacts discovered in KV62.

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.

Suggest a Featured Artefact

We’re taking suggestions! which of King Tut’s treasures you would love to see highlighted on Heritage Key, and we’ll consult Sandro’s extensive archives to see what we can find for you!

Ask Sandro

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 External Trappings of King Tutankhamun’s Mummy

Sewn into the outermost linen bandages, the trappings themselves consisted of eight golden mummy bands, a pair of life-like golden hands holding a crook and flail, a golden chain from which hung a scarab of black resin and a human-headed bird shaped pectoral.

caption Mummy Bands

The mummy bands held the final layers of linen bandages in place (whereby on a earlier or less wealthier mummy, normal linen would have been used), four of which were laid vertically from the throat/shoulder down to the toes, and the remaining four were wrapped around the body horizontally.

caption The mummy bands also had inscribed plaques bearing the name of King Tutankhamun, as well as protective spells from various gods and goddesses. Interestingly, Carter found that most of the king’s names (cartouches) on the underside of these bands had been cut out and replaced with plain gold. One that had been missed was Ankhkheperure, the co-regent of Tutankhamun’s successor and perhaps also Tutankhamun’s brother. This treatment of the bands reinforces the view that the burial arrangements for the boy king were very hurried as a result of his unexpected death.

captionGolden Hands and the Crook and Flail

The royal hands are made from burnished gold, similar to the Golden Mask, and decorated with wristlets of coloured glass and carnelian. The crook and flail represent the power of a Pharaoh, and are made from a silver core and covered with alternating bands of gold and coloured glass. The resin scarab is inscribed with hieroglyphs from the Book of the Dead, and again the bands from which it is hung were also orginally produced for Ankhkheperure.

Ba – The Human Headed Bird

caption A pectoral representing breadth and movement in the form of a winged human-headed bird represents the human soul as it escapes the body at the moment of death. Made of gold inlaid with glass, lapis lazuli and carnelian, the birds claws are grasping a shen sign, symbolising the eternal circuit of the sun. To round off this gorgeous artefact is the human face which has been crafted with sublime technique and sensitivity.

MOVIE: External Trapping of King Tut’s Mummy on display in Heritage Key VX

Click Play to watch a video of the External Trappings in Heritage Key VX.

King Tut Virtual is one of the greatest discoveries you can make online. Click your mouse to travel across time and place to explore King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the digital, online Valley of the Kings. Zoom-in and get up-close to some of the most amazing artefacts ever found. Wander the banks of Nile and enjoy a feeling of life in ancient times. The details and realism will astound you. You can invite your friends to join you on this adventure as well as meet people from all over the world in this exciting online environment. Explore the Boy King’s treasures, go virtual and visit the King Tut exhibition nowor learn more about Tutankhamun!