Thursday, January 26, 2023

Class 11 - English - Hornbill - Ch. 3 - Discovering Tut: The Saga Continues

Understanding the text

Question 1.

Give reasons for the following.

  1. King Tut’s body has been subjected to repeated scrutiny.

    King Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut, is one of the most well-known pharaohs of ancient Egypt and his tomb was discovered in 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter. His mummy and the treasures found in the tomb have been the subject of much study and scrutiny since then. The reasons for this include his historical significance as a powerful and influential ruler during a crucial period in ancient Egyptian history, the scientific advancements that have allowed scientists to use new methods to study his mummy and artifacts, the medical findings that can be obtained from the study of the mummy, the mystery surrounding his death and the public interest in understanding ancient Egyptian history.

  2. Howard Carter’s investigation was resented.

    Howard Carter’s investigation was resented because the mummy was dismembered in order to separate it from the golden coffin, which was seen as a disrespectful and intrusive method of studying the mummy, as it can cause damage to the remains and disrupt the preservation of the mummy. Moreover, it was focused on treasure hunting rather than prioritising to understand the past and its cultural importance.

  3. Carter had to chisel away the solidified resins to raise the king’s remains.

    When Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun, the mummy of the king was still inside its golden coffin and was encased in a layer of solidified resin. Carter and his team had to chisel away the resin in order to raise the king's remains.
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    There are several reasons for this:

Preservation: The resin was used as a way to preserve the mummy and its associated grave goods. The resins were used to protect the mummy from decay and to seal the tomb from the elements, but also to protect it from grave robbers.

A ritual act: The use of resin was also a ritual act, it was considered as a way of preserving the mummy for eternity, and it was a way to show respect to the dead.

Access to the mummy: In order to study the mummy and the artifacts found in the tomb, Carter and his team needed to remove the resin. Without removing the resin, they would not have been able to access the mummy and the artifacts, and their understanding of the tomb and its contents would have been limited.

Removal of the mummy: The mummy was still inside the golden coffin, and the only way to remove it was to chisel away the resin. This process was not an easy one, it was a delicate process that required skilled workers, and it took several weeks to complete.

It is worth noting that this method of chiselling the resin away was commonly used in the early days of Egyptology, and it was not as well understood as it is today, the importance of preserving the mummy and its context. Today, archaeologists use non-destructive methods to study mummies, such as CT scans and X-rays, which allow for a detailed examination of the mummy without causing any damage.

  1. Tut’s body was buried along with gilded treasures.

    Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut, was buried along with gilded treasures for several reasons, including:

Burial customs: In ancient Egypt, it was common for pharaohs and other members of the elite to be buried with a wide variety of grave goods, including jewelry, weapons, clothing, and other items. These goods were believed to be necessary for the deceased in the afterlife, and they were often richly decorated with gold and other precious materials.

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Wealth and status: Burying King Tut with gilded treasures was a way to demonstrate his wealth and status. The gold and other precious materials used to decorate the treasures were a symbol of his power and prestige, and they would have been seen as a way to ensure that he would continue to be powerful and prestigious in the afterlife.

Protection: The treasures were also believed to have protective power, both for the deceased and for the tomb. The treasures were believed to have magical powers that would protect the mummy and tomb from grave robbers and other dangers.

Rituals and beliefs: The ancient Egyptians believed that the deceased would need to use the objects in the afterlife, such as weapons to defend themselves, jewelry to adorn themselves, and so on. These objects were also believed to have the ability to connect the deceased with the gods, the gods were believed to be pleased by the gifts and would protect the deceased in return.

  1. The boy king changed his name from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun.

    Tutankhamun was part of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, which was a time of significant religious changes in Egypt. The pharaoh Akhenaten, who was Tutankhamun's father, had introduced a new form of monotheism in which the god Aten was the only god to be worshipped. The name Tutankhaten, which means "the living image of Aten", reflected this religious belief. However, after Akhenaten's death, the traditional polytheistic religion was restored and the name Tutankhamun, which means "the living image of Amun", reflected this change.

Question 2. 

  1. List the deeds that led Ray Johnson to describe Akhenaten as “wacky”.

    Pharaoh Akhenaten, who ruled Egypt during the 18th dynasty, is known for his religious revolution, where he introduced a new form of monotheism in which the god Aten was the only god to be worshipped; this was a significant departure from the traditional polytheistic religion of Egypt, which had many gods and goddesses. He also built a new capital city, Akhetaten (now known as Amarna), in the desert to the east of Thebes, the traditional capital of Egypt. This move was also seen as a rejection of the traditional religious and political establishment. Akhenaten's reign also saw a significant change in the style of art, with a shift towards more realistic and naturalistic depictions of the human form, which was a departure from the traditional stylized figures seen in Egyptian art. He also suppressed the traditional gods and goddesses and the closure of their temples which caused a significant disruption to the religious and cultural life of the people.

  2. What were the results of the CT scan?

    In 2005, a CT scan was performed on the mummy of King Tutankhamun to determine the cause of his death and to learn more about his health. The results of the scan revealed that King Tut had several health problems, including a congenital disorder called Klippel-Feil syndrome, a broken leg, infections in his chest and brain, and evidence of malaria. The combination of these conditions would have made it difficult for him to walk and weakened his immune system, making him more vulnerable to other diseases. The CT scan did not provide a clear cause of death, but it helped to fill in the gaps in historical records and to understand the life and death of the boy king.

  3. List the advances in technology that have improved forensic analysis.

    Advances in technology have greatly improved forensic analysis by providing more accurate and efficient methods of identifying and analyzing evidence. Examples of technology that have improved forensic analysis include DNA analysis, fingerprint analysis, ballistics analysis, drug analysis, digital forensics, and facial recognition. These tools and techniques have helped investigators solve crimes and bring criminals to justice. As technology continues to evolve, new and more powerful tools will be developed to improve forensic analysis.

  4. Explain the statement, “King Tut is one of the first mummies to be scanned — in death, as in life...”

    King Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut, was an Egyptian pharaoh who ruled around 1332-1323 BC. He is famous for his tomb being discovered nearly intact by Howard Carter in 1922. He is considered one of the first mummies to be scanned, as in 2005 a CT scan was performed on his mummy to determine the cause of his death and to learn more about his health. This was significant because it was one of the first times that a mummy was scanned using this technology.

The statement "in death, as in life, moving regally ahead of his countrymen" means that King Tut's mummy was scanned ahead of other mummies in Egypt, just like how he was ahead of his peers during his lifetime as a pharaoh. The use of the phrase "moving regally" emphasizes that King Tut was a powerful and respected leader in life, and in death he continues to be of interest and importance, leading the way for others to be examined in the same way.

Talking about the text

Discuss the following in groups of two pairs, each pair in a group taking opposite points of view. 

  1. Scientific intervention is necessary to unearth buried mysteries.

    Scientific intervention, or the application of scientific methods and techniques, is often necessary to uncover and understand buried mysteries. This can include the use of tools such as radiocarbon dating, DNA analysis, and geological surveys to uncover and study ancient artifacts, fossils, and other physical evidence. Additionally, scientific models and simulations can be used to better understand and predict the behavior of complex systems, such as weather patterns and the movements of celestial bodies. By utilizing these and other scientific methods, researchers and scientists can gain a deeper understanding of the world around us, and uncover secrets that have been hidden for centuries.

  2. Advanced technology gives us conclusive evidence of past events.

    Advanced technology has greatly improved our ability to gather and analyze evidence of past events. For example, the development of radiocarbon dating has allowed scientists to accurately determine the age of ancient artifacts and fossils. DNA analysis has also been used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of different species, as well as to identify the remains of individuals from the past. Other technologies, such as satellite imagery, LIDAR and Ground-penetrating radar, have enabled us to map and study ancient landscapes and architectural sites that would have been difficult or impossible to study otherwise.

Additionally, the use of computer simulations and models can provide insight into past events and processes. For example, climate models can be used to reconstruct past climate patterns, and numerical simulations can be used to study the formation and evolution of the universe.

Overall, advanced technology has played a significant role in helping us to better understand the past and to provide conclusive evidence of past events. However, it is important to note that the interpretation of this evidence is still subject to human bias and error, and multiple lines of evidence and independent verifications are needed for a solid conclusion.

  1. Traditions, rituals and funerary practices must be respected.

    Traditions, rituals, and funerary practices are an important part of many cultures and communities, and they often reflect deeply held beliefs and values. It is important to respect these practices when studying or interacting with different cultures or communities, both as a matter of basic human respect and out of consideration for the feelings and beliefs of those who hold these practices sacred.

In terms of archaeology and other scientific research, it is important to be aware of and respectful of the funerary practices and rituals of different cultures. For example, when studying ancient burials, scientists should be mindful of the fact that these burials may be considered sacred or otherwise significant by the descendants of the people who were buried there. This means that scientists should take care to avoid disturbing or destroying these sites, and should work closely with members of the community to ensure that the research is conducted in a respectful and appropriate manner.

Similarly, when studying living cultures, it is important to be respectful of the traditions and rituals that are practiced by different communities. This includes being mindful of the fact that these practices may be considered sacred or private, and taking care to avoid interfering or disturbing them in any way.

Overall, it is important to remember that traditions, rituals, and funerary practices are an important and deeply meaningful part of many cultures and communities, and they should be respected as such.

  1. Knowledge about the past is useful to complete our knowledge of the world we live in.

    Knowledge about the past is crucial for understanding the world we live in today. By studying the past, we can gain insight into the cultural, social, economic, and political systems that have shaped our world. This knowledge can help us to better understand the present and make more informed decisions about the future.

For example, studying ancient cultures can provide valuable insight into the origins of human civilization and the development of technology, art, and social structures. This knowledge can help us to understand the cultural and historical context of the societies we live in today, as well as to appreciate the diversity and richness of human experience.

Additionally, the study of past climate, environmental conditions and the changes that took place over time, provide crucial information to understand the current and future changes and to adapt accordingly. This knowledge can be used to mitigate the effects of climate change and to preserve our planet's resources for future generations.

In archaeology and other scientific fields, the study of the past also enables us to develop a deeper understanding of the natural world, including the evolution of life on Earth, the formation and history of our planet and the solar system, and the laws of physics and chemistry that govern the universe.

In conclusion, knowledge about the past is essential for understanding the present and the future. It helps us to appreciate the complexity and richness of the world around us, and to make more informed decisions about how to live our lives and shape our societies.

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