Paul Ladd is Senior Correspondent for the KNLS English Hour. He is an award-winning reporter who has worked in both broadcast and print journalism. Paul has interviewed countless newsmakers and has also broadcast live from the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile and a hot air balloon. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Paul enjoys movies, books, Pilates, cooking, music and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Today…we’re in Philadelphia…where America’s history is meeting world history.
King Tut has fascinated people all over the world since his tomb was found in 1922. An exhibit of King Tut’s treasures is making its way to four American cities…including Philadelphia.
King Tut’s exhibit has been on display at the Franklin Institute, one of the leading science education centers in the United States. More than 410,000 tickets were sold before the exhibit opened in Philadelphia.
The exhibit’s formal name is “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs.” It features more than 130 treasures found in his tomb.
Pharaoh was what ancient Egyptians called their King. He was the political and spiritual leader of the empire.
Just who was King Tut?
He was an ancient king of Egypt…and one of the last kings of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty. He was only nine years old when he became King and died nine years later…around 1323 BC.
That means some of the treasures in the King Tut exhibit are between 3,300 and 3,500 years old. Compare that to what’s now the United States of America…which was first settled by European pioneers in the 1600s.
King Tut’s tomb was found in 1922 by a man named Howard Carter. Since that discovery, people all over the world have been fascinated by King Tut…and the times in which he lived.
Back in the 1970s…a smaller collection of King Tut’s treasures was displayed in selected American museums…and about eight million people saw them.
The new exhibit is much bigger….and features artifacts that have never been seen before outside Egypt.
When you enter the exhibit…it’s as if you’re immediately transported back to another time. Each gallery has a different theme…and shows different aspects of King Tut’s life.
One of the galleries is called “Daily Life in Ancient Egypt.” This part of the exhibit shows us how royalty like King Tut—and everyday people—lived during the time he was alive.
One of the most popular pieces in the exhibition is King Tut’s crown…called a diadem. It’s made of gold.
You can also see his physical remains…which are mummified and have been preserved for centuries. The coffin in which King Tut’s remains were buried is adorned with precious jewels.
This is one of the most popular parts of the exhibit. Adults want to see how people were buried in King Tut’s time…and children are fascinated by seeing mummy-like remains.
In addition to items that belonged to King Tut, visitors can see artifacts that belonged to other royalty of the 18th Dynasty. There also items that depict burials of both royals and commoners before King Tut’s reign. These are made of stone and wood.
In addition to the treasures, the exhibit has several displays about history and science during King Tut’s time. You can even learn hieroglyphics, which is a system of writing and drawing that was used in ancient Egypt.
While many of those who are seeing “Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” in Philadelphia are from the city and surrounding communities, officials at the Franklin Institute report visitors from several other states…and countries.
King Tut may have had a short life and a short reign…but he has had a long impact on history…science…and culture.
With American Highways…this is Paul Ladd.