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Ancient Egypt’s King Tut: Understanding Our Obsession – clip

Kara Cooney / UCLA

In 1922, Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon discovered a nearly intact tomb. The golden treasures inside—the inner coffin weighs in at 269 pounds of solid gold—have obsessed us ever since, firmly sealing the young King Tut as the most famous of Egyptian kings. But why is Tutankhamun always the first pharaoh to come to mind when we think of ancient Egypt? Is it really because of those golden objects, or also because his tomb brings up questions of our own connections to death, our understanding of race, and our deep fascination with celebrity?  Tutankhamun’s place in our modern zeitgeist arguably says more about us than it does about the ancient Egyptians.

Kara Cooney

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