Tutankhamun statue emerging from a Lotus

This statue represents the head of the sun god emerging from a lotus; the sun god here takes the form of King Tutankhamun. The idea of this shape has a religious significance as it is related to one of the creation Myth which states that:
In the very beginning of the world, there was a primeval ocean which was called “NUN” which consisted of black water and out of this black water came out a luminous lotus flower which filled the whole world with fragrance and light.

Tutankhamun statue emerging from a Lotus


The Lotus Flower

The blue lotus was known as Srpt in hieroglyphics, there were 3 kinds of lotus white and blue, later on the pink one appeared which came to Egypt from foreign countries such as India or Persia. The blue lotus was famous for its fragrant smell and it is the one which is usually represented with the deceased on the walls of the tombs.

Lotus was an important symbol in Ancient Egypt; it was the emblem of Upper Egypt as the lotus flower needed a hot weather to grow. The Egyptians noticed that the lotus flower opens its petals in the morning sun and closes them and sink below the water at dusk this inspired them with the idea of rebirth and regeneration. The emerging lotus is the symbol of the sun that is also regenerated each morning following its nightly journey to the regions of the underworld.

The petals of the lotus flower are not rounded but they have pointed ends which resembles the sunrays, we could also notice that the center of the flower represents the sun while the petals represent the sunrays.

In the
Book of the Dead, chapter 81 includes a spell which the deceased used in order to be transformed into a lotus flower as it was thought to be a symbol of rebirth since it comes out of the depths each morning.

Material of the Statue

This statue is made out of wood covered with plaster or stucco and then painted.


Discovery of the Statue

It was found by Howard Carter on the floor of the entrance corridor in the tomb of Tutankhamun which leads to the antechamber  . It is thought that it was dropped by one of the robbers who participated in one of the last robberies for one reason or another in their exit which could well have been a hasty one.

Description of the Statue

The eye lashes and the eye brows of this statue are coloured dark blue in association with the hair of god Re whose hair was thought to be made of pure lapis lazuli. The Amarna style of art is clear in this statue. This is shown by:  the elongated skull, two wrinkles under his neck and the pierced ear-lobes, which contain traces of an earring.
The blue painted base represents the waters of the NUN on which the lotus flower grows. This head has the purpose of wishing the king a destiny of everlasting rebirth. The statue is also associated with god Nefertum because Nefertum and Tutankhamun were both young as well as the fact that lotus flower was a symbol of Nefertum who was the god of perfume.

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