One Tank Trips: King Tut Treasures on Display at The Field Museum

By: Kari Huston
By: Kari Huston

A blockbuster exhibition is underway in Chicago. The Field Museum has some of the world's rarest ancient treasures on display: gold, gems and breathtaking art from the tomb of King Tut.

A ruler of all ages
If your name lives on in history, then even in death you will achieve eternal life. That's what the ancient Egyptians believed and if it's true, King Tut is a ruler for the ages.

Since Tut's tomb was discovered by archeologists in 1922 museums around the world have vied for the honor of displaying its treasures.

Now, for a limited time, the Chicago Field Museum is your ticket back in time.

"The last time this exhibition was here was in 1977 and it was said then that it would never return," says Mark Lach of Arts & Exhibitions International. "It was a once in a lifetime exhibition. Kinda of twice in a lifetime because the exhibition, the Treasures of King Tut are back in Chicago."

The exhibition introduces you to King Tut's family tree.

"His father Akhenaten, his great grandmother Tjuya, the kings the royalty that proceeded Tut to the throne, (the exhibit) gives you a real background on ancient Egypt," says Lach.

Artifacts more than 3400 years old, tell of Tut's culture, wealth and power. Then, come face to face with him.

"There's this wonderful wooden bust of King Tut as a boy. It was probably used as a dressing mannequin so his garments could be test fitted, but when you turn the corner and he looks you right in the eye, it's a very personal piece, the most human in the exhibition," says Lach.

Explore Tut's favorite belongings, from a chair he used as a child, to tiny board games meant to occupy him in the afterlife.

There's even beauty in morbid artifacts, like a coffinette, which was used to mummify the king's liver.

"They're irreplaceable and we should feel all very fortunate that they're on loan from the Egyptian government," says Lach.

The world was mystified by Tut's death at the age of only 19. Now, science has unlocked those secrets.

"A CT scan was done in 2005 and we always believed that he was killed, most likely from a blow to the back of the head because there was trauma identified on the X-rays. We now know that what looked like trauma was just a settling of resin from the embalming process," explains Lach.

He adds, "There was this curious break above the left knee, whether it was a accident, a battle wound, we don't know, but probably infection set in and contributed to his death."

Three millennia after his death, Tutankhamun fascinates 4000 visitors a day at the Field Museum.

"I think it's definitely worth it. It's part of our world history," said Elizabeth Davis.

"It was a lifetime thing. We're from Missouri and we wanted to come and see this," says Angela Gilliland. "We planned a trip around this exhibit so we could come."

Catch a glimpse of King Tut
The trip from South Bend will cost you about $50 for gas, tolls and parking.

Tickets to Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs during regular Museum hours are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and students with ID, and $16 for children 4-11 and include Museum general admission.

We recommend the audio tour. It's only $6 more.

While you are there also stop by and see Sue, the world's largest preserved tyrannosaurus rex and dozens of her friends on exhibit.

Tut goes back to Egypt January 1st so get there soon for a little pharaoh fun.

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