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Tut Exhibit - King Tutankhamun Exhibit, Collection: Statues, Sculptures and Containers - Unguent Jar in the Form of a Standing Lion


The Tutankhamun Exhibit

Statues, Sculptures and Containers

unguent jar in the form of a lion, probably representing Bes

Unguent Jar in the Form of a Standing Lion


Found in the annex, this jar was one of the more than fifty vessels in the tomb. Made of calcite like the others, it is distinguished by its form which as the shape of a lion; its head and body, which were hollowed out, held the unguent. The crown functioned either as stopper or projecting neck and mouth for the jar. Unlike the many other containers in the tomb, this one still retained its contents, despite the fact that the crown had been detached in antiquity. The pedestal on which it stands is similar in design to contemporaneous jar stands and stools, and the bands of incised decoration are reminiscent of the borders of checkerboard pattern and stylized flower petals on the elaborately decorated chest.

The support for his left paw takes the shape of the Egyptian hieroglyph sa ("protection"), and this fact reinforces the identification of the lion with the god Bes. His claws, apparently inlaid in ivory or gold, are no longer intact; the dew claw, a vestigial part of the paw, which is also indicated on the two front animal-form legs of chairs, is shown in raised relief on his right paw. His eyes are gilded, and his teeth and tongue are of ivory. A hole was carved in each ear for earrings, but neither one has survived.

The inscription carved on his chest was filled in with colored pigment as was the case with the decoration on the crown and the base. It reads, "The Good God, the Lord of the Two Lands, 'Ra is the Lord of Manifestations', 'Tutankhamun'; the Wife of the King, 'Ankhesenamun'".

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