Mask Lifts, Reveals Tut's Face

Face of boy-pharaoh on public display for the first time
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2007 1:00 PM CST
Mask Lifts, Reveals Tut's Face
An archaeological worker looks across at the face of the linen-wrapped mummy of King Tut as he is removed from his stone sarcophagus in his underground tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt Sunday, Nov. 4, 2007. The mummy of the 19-year-old pharaoh, whose life and death has captivated...   (Associated Press)

King Tut, Egypt's famous boy-king, has shown his face publicly for the first time in about 3,000 years, BBC reports. Archaeologists worried about the effects of humidity on Tut removed the mummy from its stone sarcophagus and placed it in a climate-controlled case in his Valley of the Kings tomb. The mummy was unveiled exactly 85 years after the tomb's discovery by explorer Howard Carter.

Until he was put on display, only about 50 people had seen the blackened, shriveled face of the 19-year-old king. Carter's team removed Tutankhamun's solid gold mask using hot knives and wires; the mummy was returned to its original sarcophagus in 1926. But the mask that preserved Tut for three millennia ultimately proved insufficient protection against hordes of tourists. (Read more Tutankhamun stories.)

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