Funerary Statues at Mesita B

Funerary Statues at Mesita B

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Sphinx, Baboon and Cat Statues Found in Ancient Egyptian Burial

After years of being washed, perfumed and fed in ancient Egypt, the statue of a revered Egyptian deity was given a proper burial with other "dead" statues more than 2,000 years ago, a new study finds.

Ancient Egyptians buried the statue of the deity Ptah — the god of craftsmen and sculptors — with other revered statues, including those of a sphinx, baboon, cat, Osiris and Mut, in a pit next to Ptah's temple.

The statue of Ptah had likely sat in the temple for years, but it and the other sacred objects were respectfully buried after they accumulated damage and were declared useless by the ancient Egyptians, the researchers said. [See Photos of the Ptah, Sphnix and Other Statues]

"We can consider that when a new statue was erected in the temple, this one [of Ptah] was set aside in a pit," said study co-researcher Christophe Thiers, director of the French-Egyptian Center for the Study of the Temples of Karnak. "The other artifacts were also previously damaged during their 'lifetime' in the temple, and then they were buried with the Ptah statue."

Archaeologists discovered the pit in December 2014 at Karnak, an Egyptian temple precinct, and spent about a month excavating its rich assemblage. The pit held 38 objects, including:

  • Fourteen statuettes and figurines of Osiris.
  • Eleven fragments of inlay from statues. The inlay included that of an iris, a cornea, a false beard, a cap, a strand of hair and an inlay plaque.
  • Three baboon statuettes (representing the god Thoth).
  • Two statuettes of the goddess Mut (one with hieroglyphic inscriptions).
  • Two unidentified statuette bases.
  • One head and one fragmentary statuette of a cat (Bastet).
  • One small fragmentary faience stele (a stone slab) recording the name of the god Ptah.
  • One head of a statuette of a man in gilded limestone.
  • One lower part of a statue of the seated god Ptah, sawn and repaired.
  • One sphinx.
  • One unidentified metal piece.

It appeared that the artifacts were buried in a certain order. After digging the pit, also known as a favissa (a cache of sacred objects that are no longer in use), the ancient Egyptians would have put down the lower part of Ptah's limestone statue. The statue was large, and it probably took two to three people to carry it, the researchers said.

Next to the statue, the Egyptians would have placed a wooden effigy of the god Osiris that had metal appliqué, including a beard and two feathers in its crown. Then, the other artifacts would have been distributed around these two artifacts, which were then covered with about 8 inches (20 centimeters) of backfill. This is where the ancient Egyptians placed a statue of a small limestone sphinx.

The pit was then covered with more backfill. At the top, the Egyptians placed a small male head made of gilded limestone, likely for protection, the researchers said.

The objects were made at different times, the researchers found. The statue of Ptah dates to the New Kingdom the style of the sphinx supports a late Ptolemaic date and the gilded head dates to the early Ptolemaic period, the researchers said. However, by studying the site's rock layers, the researchers found that the artifacts were buried by the temple's priests during the second half of the Ptolemaic period, between the second century B.C. and the middle of the first century B.C., the researchers wrote in the study. [7 Amazing Archaeological Discoveries from Egypt]

Nathan Bedford Forrest: Early Life

Nathan Bedford Forrest was born in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, on July 13, 1821. He grew up poor and received almost no formal education before going into business with his uncle Jonathan Forrest in Hernando, Mississippi. In 1845 his uncle was killed in a street fight started over a business dispute, and Forrest responded by killing two of the murderers using a pistol and bowie knife. Forrest married Mary Ann Montgomery, a member of a prominent Tennessee family, that same year. The couple would later have two children.

Did you know? Known as the “Wizard of the Saddle” for his ingenious use of cavalry forces during the Civil War, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest rose from the rank of private to lieutenant general despite having no previous military training.

Forrest eventually found success as a planter and owner of a stagecoach company. In 1852 he moved his young family to Memphis, Tennessee, where he amassed a small fortune working as a slave trader. His business continued to grow throughout the 1850s, and in 1858 he was elected a Memphis alderman. By 1860 Forrest owned two cotton plantations and had established himself among the wealthiest men in Tennessee.


Part 1: Death in the Japanese Tradition: An Introduction
Part 2: Buddhism & Burial: Attitudes to Death in Ancient Japan
Part 3: Death and the Dead in the Japanese Classics
Part 4: Folk Religion and Death
Part 5: Kami and Ancestors
Part 6: Buddhism and Death in Society
Part 7: Buddha and Kami
Part 8: Popular Buddhist Death Cults
Part 9: The Death Poem and Buddhism
Part 10: Cross-Cultural Comparisons on Mourning and Object Loss
Part 11: Japanese Buddhist and Christian Images of Death: Comparisons and Contrasts
Part 12: Bushido: The Way of Death
Part 13: Confucianism, Neo-Confucianism and the Neo-Samurai
Part 14: Militarism – Meiji to Showa
Part 15: Nogi Syndrome, Workaholism and Karoshi
Part 16: Suicide in Contemporary Japan
Part 17: Lingering Images in Popular Culture
Part 18: Terrorism, Violent and Tomorrow’s Citizens
Part 19: The Death and Burial of Emperor Showa
Part 20: The Modern Ritualized Death System

Funerary Statues at Mesita B - History

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Tomb, in the strictest sense, a home or house for the dead the term is applied loosely to all kinds of graves, funerary monuments, and memorials. In many primitive cultures the dead were buried in their own houses, and the tomb form may have developed out of this practice, as a reproduction in permanent materials of primeval house types. Thus prehistoric tomb barrows were usually built around a round hut, in which the body was placed, along with tools and other personal effects for use in the next life. With the more advanced technology of early civilizations, brick and stone tombs appeared, often of great size, but still preserving primitive house forms. They were sometimes domical and sometimes rectangular, depending on which form was in common domestic use when the tombs began to be built. Being thought of as houses, such tombs were often lavishly provided with clothes, utensils, and furniture, so that they are major sources of knowledge about the cultures that built them.

In very early times, royal dead were apparently provided not only with all manner of necessary objects but also with actual servants, who were put to death at the time of the burial so that they might continue to serve their master. Typical is the tomb of Queen Shub-Ad of Ur (Early Dynastic Period in Mesopotamia, c. 2900–c. 2334 bc ), which contained the bodies of more than 60 attendants. It became more common, however, to substitute statues or painted images for human beings. This was the practice in most Egyptian tombs and from such painted pictures and statuettes, particularly in Old and Middle Kingdom tombs, a vivid picture of Egyptian life can be gained.

In many cultures and civilizations the tomb was superseded by, or coexisted with, monuments or memorials to the dead sometimes, as in ancient Greece, the bodies were burned and the ashes put in funerary urns. In medieval Christian thought, the tomb was considered an earthly prototype and symbol of a heavenly home. This concept appeared in the Roman catacombs, the walls of which were decorated with scenes of the resurrected in paradise. The church building itself sometimes functioned as a tomb (e.g., Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was the tomb of Justinian). Throughout the Middle Ages it was common to inter bodies in churches, monasteries, and chapels, with depictions of the deceased on carved or painted plaques, or as life-size gisants (reclining sculptured figures, usually lying on their backs) placed above them. The deceased were represented not as corpses but as souls living in heaven, with their hands pressed together in adoration and the symbols of their salvation beside them. During the 15th century it became a common Christian practice to represent such figures as dead (usually on biers). This foreshadowed a general revival of the Greek practice of erecting funerary monuments, rather than tombs, during the 16th century. Since the Renaissance, the idea in the West of the tomb as a home has died out, except as a faint reminiscence in the mausoleums sometimes erected above graves or serving as burial vaults in modern cemeteries. See also barrow dolmen effigy mound gisant sarcophagus.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.

The History of Forest Lawn Cemetery

When Buffalo was made the western terminus of the Erie Canal in 1825, the city became the western outpost of the East and the East&rsquos gateway to the West. In 1842, Joseph Dart, buried in Section 1 of Forest Lawn Cemetery, invented the steam-powered grain elevator which mechanized the unloading and loading of wheat and other grains, thereby introducing incredible productivity to the previously laborious process of transferring grains to and from shallow-bottomed canal barges and large lake ships. Buffalo&rsquos economy surged forward and by 1849, it was the busiest grain-transfer port in the world, surpassing London, Odessa, and Rotterdam.

A Buffalo lawyer, Charles E. Clarke, recognized the need for a cemetery of substantial size to serve the city's booming population. What he had in mind was more than a burial ground. In 1849, he purchased land in the country 2 1/2 miles from downtown Buffalo, following the vision created by Père-Lachais, the world's most famous cemetery, established in Paris in 1804. Originally located on a rural estate overlooking the city, Père-Lachais balanced nature and art, allowing civilization to be present without disturbing the grandeur of the romantic setting.

The first American cemetery to adopt this concept was Mount Auburn in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which was established in 1831. Like Père-Lachais, Mount Auburn encouraged people to walk the grounds, admire the funerary art, and commune with nature.

The land that Clarke purchased perfectly suited his vision for a picturesque rural cemetery with its rolling hills and charming valleys, spring-fed lakes, and a meandering creek. He designed roadways that curved and intertwined as freely as the landscape itself. His roads were wide, taking up more potential burial space than was truly necessary, but providing interesting vistas and parking for carriages. He thinned out the oak groves on the hilltops to make room for graves, and he planted other trees in the meadows to shade the graves there. In just a year&rsquos time, he had put a lawn under the forest and the beginning of a forest on the lawn. Clarke had created Forest Lawn, which the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser called &ldquoone of the most lovely resting places of the dead in the country.&rdquo

In Forest Lawn&rsquos 269 acres of incomparable beauty, the permanent population numbers more than 161,000. Their loss has brought grief to many more hundreds of thousands. William Shelton, rector of St. Paul&rsquos Episcopal Church from 1829 to 1882 and who led the building of St. Paul&rsquos Cathedral, designed by the great American architect Richard Upjohn in 1848, spoke at the burial ceremony for John Lay, Jr., at Forest Lawn in 1850. It was the first burial to be made in the cemetery, and Shelton noted with accurate prognostication, &ldquoWhat a tide of grief will be poured forth here.&rdquo

Clarke was also determined to turn that tide of grief into a tide of celebration of the lives of Forest Lawn&rsquos permanent residents. As writer Mary Lou Brannon said, &ldquoA cemetery is a history of people &ndash a perpetual record of yesterday. A cemetery exists because every life is worth living and remembering &ndash always.&rdquo

From the beginning, Forest Lawn was designed to serve both the dead and the living. Clarke started a policy of providing interesting and appropriate sculpture to the natural setting of Forest Lawn &ndash a continuing policy that has made the cemetery a significant outdoor sculpture museum today. His first proposal to beautify the natural setting with notable sculpture occurred in 1851. He commissioned the design of a larger-than-life statue of the great Seneca Indian chief, Red Jacket (c.1750-1830), who managed neutrality on the part of his powerful Seneca nation in the War of 1812. He was such a respected and persuasive orator that the Senecas gave him the name, Sa-Go-Ye-Wat-Ha (He Who Keeps Them Awake). In his heroic bronze statue beside his gravesite, Red Jacket is depicted wearing the richly embroidered red jacket presented to him by a British officer, while on his breast is displayed the large medal awarded to him by President George Washington.

Red Jacket&rsquos statue was followed by a number of public sculptures and works of art, including, to list just a few:

&bullthe Oishei Memorial Bell, which won the gold medal at the Paris Exposition in 1867 and is rung electronically for funeral processions entering the cemetery

&bullthe Three Graces bronze fountain in Mirror Lake, which was designed by sculptor Charles Cary Rumsey in 1909

&bulla bronze statue of a little girl standing on a small island in Mirror Lake, "The Little Girl" was created in 1914 by sculptor Grace Rumsey Goodyear and stands in memory of all children

&bulla giant bronze bust of the great Italian composer, Giuseppe Verdi, created by Italian sculptor Antonio Ugo, this sculpture was presented to Forest Lawn by the Federation of Italian American Societies to honor the many Italian craftsmen who chiseled the thousands of magnificent marble and granite monuments in the cemetery

&bulla multi-figure composition of eight bronze human figures, called &ldquoCelebration,&rdquo connected in an ascending arrangement that suggests weightlessness and human interaction, which is the work of Barry Johnston, who cast it in 1989

&bulla gigantic sculpture in fiberglass, 16 feet high, of two abstracted figures (an upward-bearing winged angel lifting a human body) that seem to float above the ground and created in 1998 by John Field.

There are, of course, many thousands of private memorials, including designs by famous architects like Richard Upjohn and Stanford White, as well as notable sculptures created by great artists like Nicola Cantalamessa-Papotti, Franklin Torrey, Augustus Saint Gaudens, and Harriet Frishmuth.

The massive Romanesque Walden-Myer mausoleum in Section X was built in 1857 and supports a giant stone globe upon its roof. One of the interments in the mausoleum is that of Albert James Myer (1829-1880), who forecast the weather so successfully that he founded the U.S. Weather Service. He also became the first commander of the Army Signal Corps.

The largest and most expensive family mausoleum in Forest Lawn was built in 1872. It is the Letchworth-Skinner mausoleum holding the families of Josiah Letchworth and John Skinner in an opulent three-level, sandstone Greek temple with an interior of Italian and Egyptian marble containing elegant sarcophagi and crypts.

In 1874, the thirteenth president of the United States, Millard Fillmore (1800-1874), was buried in Section F. A polished red granite obelisk marks his family lot. Fillmore was arguably Buffalo&rsquos most prominent leader. A prestigious lawyer, he served in the U.S. Congress, was elected vice-president of the United States, and became president in 1850. As president, he opened trade with Japan, a feat that European countries had failed to accomplish. That story was told in the Broadway musical, "Pacific Overtures," by Stephen Sondheim. Fillmore founded many of Buffalo&rsquos cultural institutions. The next obelisk to the east of Fillmore&rsquos memorializes Nathan Hall, and the third one, Solomon Haven. The three were business partners and friends who, in death, remain side by side in the exact order of their law firm&rsquos name: Fillmore, Hall, and Haven.

The Orson Phelps (1805-1870) family monument, Section I, was created by the famous Italian sculptor, Nicola Cantalamessa-Papotti, in Rome in 1876. The magnificent monument comprises five carved marble figures: Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, and on top the majestic angel, Gabriel, holding the horn he will blow someday. Cantalamessa-Papotti received numerous sculpting commissions from King Ferdinand of Italy and Pope Pius IX. He also created the memorial for U.S. President James A. Garfield and was an art judge at the Chicago World&rsquos Fair in 1893.

The most lavish tribute to Victorian taste in Forest Lawn was unveiled in 1888. It is the Blocher memorial in Section 11. Immense bell-shaped granite stones resting on giant granite pilasters separated by floor-to-ceiling glass windows enclose a sentimental tableau. Father John Blocher and mother Elizabeth Blocher stand grieving over their dead son, Nelson, while a voluptuous female angel gazes down from overhead. The marble sculptures were created by the Swiss-born Italian artist, Franklin Torrey.

In 1918, George K. Birge, the nationally known manufacturer of wallpapers, and president of the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, was buried beneath a marble sarcophagus resting in the center of a round open platform surrounded by an elegant classical peristyle in white marble with twelve Doric columns. The large memorial stands beside beautiful Mirror Lake, which is surrounded by spring-flowering trees.

In Section 1 on the William A. Rogers gravesite, there is a strikingly beautiful, 10-foot-high, bronze sculpture of a woman in a robe with her right arm stretched upward and her expectant face tilted toward heaven. Called &ldquoAspiration,&rdquo the statue was designed by the nationally acclaimed sculptor, Harriet Frishmuth, and cast in 1926.

The private mausoleum of Chester and Gloria Stachura was built in 1988 of white granite with heavy bronze doors. Passersby can rest on a polished black granite sofa or an S-shaped tête-à-tête sofa that are situated in front of the mausoleum entrance.

In its 160+ years, Forest Lawn Cemetery has become an enduring chronicle of local history and a cultural landmark to local accomplishment. Considering the impact of these accomplishments on America and the world, the cemetery is a national asset and fully deserves its designation in the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Today, there are more than 3,500 trees in Forest Lawn, representing 100 different species and varieties and making the cemetery an important arboretum.

Over 240 kinds of birds have been spotted in Forest Lawn. They are encouraged to be year-round residents by no-rent housing provided in the countless birdhouses placed throughout the cemetery.

Cemeteries provide the ultimate statement of our civilization. They display our respect for history and how we honor our forefathers. They recognize accomplishment. They indicate our moral and ethical standards and our religious beliefs. They speak of love all-encompassing and eternal. Forest Lawn Cemetery amply demonstrates all of these qualities. If the measure of the civility of a society is in how it treats its dead, then Buffalo is very civilized indeed.

Today, The Forest Lawn Group includes cemeteries in Buffalo, Hamburg, Williamsville and West Seneca. Lakeside Cemetery in Hamburg (south of Buffalo) is a lovely cemetery and also a home for several forms of wildlife. Williamsville Cemetery's eight acres also represents the rich history of the Village of Williamsville in the Town of Amherst. St. Matthew's Cemetery showcases the beauty, heritage and tradition of West Seneca. The most recent additon to the Forest Lawn Group is Gethsemane Cemetery in Williamsville. S ince its dedication in the early 1900&rsquos, this beautiful, quiet, serene place had been a private cemetery, exclusively for burial of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. In 2018, the Sisters entrusted ownership of Gethsemane to the Forest Lawn Cemetery and Crematory Group.

Funerary Statues at Mesita B - History

The Monumental Bronze Company of Bridgeport was the only producer of a unique type of grave marker in the United States between 1874 and 1914. Other firms produced white bronze decorations (e.g., urns and civic monuments), but not grave markers.

Although the material used in the markers was dubbed “white bronze,” it was neither white (but bluish-gray) nor bronze (but pure zinc). The memorials varied in size from a few inches (i.e., a small “stone” with a name empaneled) to larger monuments or statues that reached over 25 feet high.

The Monumental Bronze Company Takes Shape

Design offered in the catalogue of the Monumental Bronze Company, October 1882.

The company that produced them began in 1873 in Chautauqua County, New York, when M. A. Richardson and his partner, C. J. Willard, developed a cemetery marker using zinc. The manufacturing rights to this product were eventually sold to the Wilson, Parsons and Company of Bridgeport in 1874. The company subsequently became known as Schuyler, Parsons, Landon and Company from 1877 to 1879. In 1879 it incorporated as the Monumental Bronze Company. According to an 1882 catalog, it offered “monuments, statues, portrait medallions, busts, and ornamental artwork for cemeteries, public and private grounds, and buildings.”

During its history, the company produced grave markers cast in zinc made from sand molds that were fused together, sandblasted, and lacquered to produce the bluish-gray finished product that imitated stone. The original casting was done in the Bridgeport foundry. Subsidiaries in Chicago, Detroit, Des Moines, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and St. Thomas, Canada became finishing and distribution centers. Since Bridgeport and its subsidiaries did not have showrooms, grave markers were sold through catalogs and part-time salesmen.

Although the company did supply numerous Union and Confederate Civil War monuments to other states, it made only one Connecticut monument. Its Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Academy Hill Park in Stratford was dedicated on October 3, 1889, to celebrate the town’s 250th anniversary. The elaborately-styled monument, with an overall height of about 35 feet, is topped with a standard-bearer figure on a pedestal.

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Academy Hill Park, Stratford, CT. – Connecticut Historical Society, Connecticut’s Civil War Monuments

The company also made a John Benson Marker, dedicated around 1884, that stands in Stratford. Located in Putney-Oronoque Cemetery, it has a height of 22 inches. It identifies–significantly–the deceased as “colored” on the front side a rare recognition of the service provided by African American Civil War soldiers. The reverse side shows a raised figure of a soldier with a musket butt near his right foot.

World War I Brings Change

The company’s products continued their popularity throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as consumers often deemed the marble and granite products sold by their competitors to be too expensive. But in 1914, the federal government took over the company facilities in order to make gun mounts and munitions for World War I and the firm never produced another grave marker.

After the war, Monumental Bronze executives realized that public demand had significantly shifted away from white bronze toward granite and other natural stones. Demand further declined when many cemeteries began prohibiting metal grave markers. Nevertheless, business continued with the production of metal panels used for adding the names of more family members to existing monuments, as well as fabricated castings for automobile and radio parts and kitchen equipment. Its increasingly unprofitable business during the Great Depression, however, resulted in the company declaring bankruptcy in 1939.

Ancient Sumerian Art

The world’s earliest civilization developed in the Mesopotamian area of Sumer in present-day Iraq. Sumerian civilization spanned a period of three thousand years beginning around 5300 B.C. Early cities like Eridu and Larsa revolved around year-round agriculture. The Sumerians invented such important landmark inventions like the wheel and writing. Their civilization also developed their own distinctive art.

Like many ancient cultures, the Sumerians developed art that was largely reflective of their religious beliefs. Some artistic archeological finds depict flora and fauna of the region. The Sumerian art medium of choice was clay which was abundant in the region, but statues made from stone have also been unearthed. Many of their statues depicted smoothly rounded elements that are unlike the statues of other Mesopotamian civilizations. Often artist decoration adorned functional items such as pottery, weapons, or even farm implements.

Painting and sculpture were both important artistic mediums for the Sumerians. Sumerian artisans had to import some materials like stone and wood into their area, but trade was certainly important to the civilization as it grew. Artists also favored more precious materials such as lapis lazuli and shell for important objects of worship or state. Many of the tallest statues produced by Sumerian artists were religious in nature and generally depicted female mother-goddess figures whom they worshipped and hoped would grant them prosperous harvests, fertility, and protection from enemies. Sumerian statues of figures are notable for their large eyes that dominate round faces. The bodies of these statues tend to be carved into simple cylindrical shapes.

Considerable examples of Sumerian art have been uncovered from the cities of Babylon, Ur, Kish, Lagash, and Uruk. As the civilization aged, its art became ever-more sophisticated as evidenced by famous artifacts like the female head found at Uruk known as Lady of Warka (c.3200 B.C.). Other important finds dating to Sumer’s artistic peak include a mosaic laden wooden harp, a wooden game board inlaid with precious materials, and various busts of males and females. Many of the statues also feature the typical staring eyes, clasped hands, beards, long hair, and pleated skirts.

Sumerians are noted for their architecture as well—most notably their ziggurat temples that were pyramidal structures. The Sumerians also produced jewelry and richly carved cylinder seals that were used to create personal signatures. Much of the painting, according to archeologists, was in the form of frescos and would have adorned both temples and palaces. Sumerian art influenced the art of later Mesopotamian cultures. The Sumerian style waned, however, with the invasion of Semitic peoples from outside the region.

And then, stunningly, the teenage pharaoh died. The cause is uncertain. Maybe a lethal infection set in after he broke his leg in an accident. Or malaria did him in. Or he had a fatal genetic weakness that arose from the royals' habit of marrying their siblings.

However it came about, Tut's passing created an immediate practical problem: There was no finished tomb to put him in. And why would there be? No one could have imagined that a teenager would suddenly drop dead. Egypt's officials must have thought they had plenty of time to prepare his place of eternal rest.

Many experts think Tut may have been buried in a tomb that had already been prepared for someone else. It's now known as KV62—uncovered in the Valley of the Kings, which was the cemetery for rulers and their relatives during the 18th and 19th Dynasties.

But what if KV62 was already occupied, and Tut was buried in a few small rooms near the entrance? That's what the current scans of the walls of Tut's burial chamber are meant to determine.

Maybe the first occupant is lying in larger rooms beyond Tut's modest suite. And if it's the beautiful queen Nefertiti, or a royal of the same stature, the rooms might be filled with great treasures, all untouched by looters.

Unfortunately, Tut died without a son and heir, plunging Egypt yet again into a period of anxiety that lasted about two decades, until a new dynasty was founded.

As the tombs of new pharaohs were carved into the limestone cliffs in the Valley of the Kings, chunks of rock must have piled up everywhere. In time, the debris spilled over the entrance to Tut's tomb. With no physical reminder of his whereabouts, the teenager was all but forgotten.

More than 3,000 years later, wealthy Europeans began to explore the various royal burial grounds of the ancient Egyptian capital, searching for stunning artifacts to fill their homes and museums. One of these was Lord Carnarvon, whose home was Highclere Castle. Television viewers today know it as the setting for the PBS show Downton Abbey.

Beginning in 1907, Carnarvon employed a fellow Brit, Howard Carter, to supervise the excavations he was funding. They had some success, finding upper class tombs and previously looted royal burials, but by the winter of 1921-22 they had yet to make the big score they had hoped for.

Carnarvon was ready to pull the plug, but Carter convinced him to hang in for one more season of digging. It was one of the best calls in the history of archaeology.

In November 1922 Carter's workmen began clearing a previously neglected triangle of ground in the Valley of the Kings. After just a few days, they hit the descending stone staircase that would lead them to Tut's underground grave.

By the end of the month, they had come to a doorway sealed with plaster that had the name of Tutankhamun stamped all over it. Carter broke a small hole through the plaster, held up a candle, and looked in. What he saw would make newspaper headlines around the world:

"At first, I could see nothing," he wrote later, "the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle to flicker, but presently, as my eyes became accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, gold—everywhere the glint of gold."

It would take Carter the next ten years to catalog all of Tut's treasures. The boy king had been provided with 5,398 things he might need in the next life—everything from a solid gold coffin and face mask to beds and thrones, chariots and archery bows, food and wine, sandals and fresh linen underwear.

Although looters had broken into the tomb at least twice in antiquity, it remains the most spectacular burial ever discovered in Egypt. And this was for a teenager with a relatively short reign. The mind boggles at the thought of the wealth that must have been buried with one of the big names—like Nefertiti.

Tut's reign may not have been filled with great military battles or political coups, but he was more than a minor blip on the list of kings. His death, without an heir, made him a pivotal figure in shaping the future of Egypt.

He and his wife, Ankhesenamun, tried to start a family but found only heartbreak. Their two daughters were delivered before term, both apparently stillborn. The tiny bodies were mummified, according to tradition, and laid to rest with their father in KV62.

Tut's successor, Aye, was an old family retainer and only ruled for four years. He too left no heir.

Next up was Horemheb, a military general. And oddly enough, he and his wife had no children either.

Egypt was a country that needed a strong, healthy, fertile king to take the reins firmly in hand and perpetuate the royal line. What to do?

Horemheb ended up adopting an army buddy as his heir, a man named Ramses, who became the first ruler of the 19th Dynasty. And so began the chapter in history that's often linked to the Bible, and to Ramses' grandson, Ramses II. That great pharaoh would reign for 67 years, father more than a hundred children with multiple wives, and mount military campaigns that covered Egypt in further glory.

It was a happy outcome, all in all. And yet, the haunting question remains: What would have become of Egypt if Tut and his wife had brought a strapping baby boy into this world?

The Funeral In Springfield

After a long journey by rail, Lincoln's funeral train finally arrived in Springfield, Illinois in early May 1865

Following a stop in Chicago, Illinois, Lincoln's funeral train left for its final leg of the journey on the night of May 2, 1865. The following morning the train arrived at Lincoln's hometown of Springfield, Illinois.

Lincoln's body lay in state at the Illinois statehouse in Springfield, and many thousands of people filed past to pay their respects. Railroad trains arrived at the local station bringing more mourners. It was estimated that 75,000 people attended the viewing at the Illinois statehouse.

On May 4, 1865, a procession moved from the statehouse, past Lincoln's former home, and to Oak Ridge Cemetery.

After a service attended by thousands, Lincoln's body was placed inside a tomb. The body of his son Willie, who had died in the White House in 1862 and whose coffin was also carried back to Illinois on the funeral train, was placed beside him.

The Lincoln funeral train had traveled approximately 1,700 miles, and millions of Americans had witnessed its passing or participated in funeral observances in the cities where it stopped.

Watch the video: Museo de Burgos: Christian Funerary Statues 13th-15th Centuries CE