Could Tutankhamun’s chariot have come equipped with its own sunshade?
During studies carried out on Tutankhamun’s sunshade before its transportation to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) along with 155 other artefacts, a Japanese scholar, Nozomi Kawai, professor of Egyptology at Kanazawa University in Japan revealed a new hypothesis.
He suggested that the sunshade of Tutankhamun was a part of the boy king’s chariot, to protect him from sun’s heat while hunting or playing sports.
The examination and X-rays carried out on both the chariot and the sunshade show that the chariot has signs and remains like those used in fixing sunshades, a suggestion that indicates that the sunshade is part of the chariot. Further studies will be carried out to find out more.
Eissa Zidan, director-general of the first aid restoration department and transportation at the GEM, said that the GEM received a collection of 155 objects, among the most important of which were Tutankhamun’s sunshade, a statue of king Amenemhat III and a collection of artefacts from the reign of Alexander the Great and both Kings Ptolemy I and II.
He said that the sunshade is the last piece to be transported within the framework of an Egyptian-Japanese project to transport and restore 72 objects from the Egyptian museum in Tahrir to the GEM with the support of JICA.
All the objects were restored before packing in order to strengthen the weak parts as well as using a special kind of packing free of alcohol and materials that absorb humidity. The objects are now at the wood lab in the GEM for more restoration before display within the Tutankhamun collection when the museum opens in 2020.