The Peabody-Emersons excavated in Deir el-Medina and in the Valley of the Kings during the 1921-22 and 1922-23 seasons. As chronicled in ”The Serpent on the Crown”, in 1921 they were given a small golden statue of what turned out to be the then little-known King Tutankhamun. In a magnificent coincidence found only in fiction, the statue was discovered to be one of a few items stolen from the tomb of the king in antiquity, and buried by the thief in Deir el-Medina, together with a papyrus confessing his deed.

The following year, as chroncled in “Tomb of the Golden Bird”, the Peabody-Emersons are on the scene as Howard Carter discovers and begins the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamum for his patron Lord Carnarvon. They even witness an improper nocturnal entry into the tomb by Carter and Carnarvon before its official opening, an event which is generally accepted to have occurred.

Gilded Wooden Figure of Tutankhamun on a Skiff, Throwing a Harpoon

Gilded Wooden Figure of Tutankhamun on a Skiff, Throwing a Harpoon, Photo: Creative Commons

Information at the Supreme Council of Antiquities website

Object name: Gilded Wooden Figure of Tutankhamun on a Skiff, Throwing a Harpoon

Material: Gilded wood

Measurements: Height 75.50 cm, depth 5.6 cm, length 18.50 cm

Provenance: Found in KV62 by Howard Carter in 1922. Sent to the Cairo Museum.

Date: 1922

Additional description: The figure was found missing following the looting and vandalism that happened in the museum on January 28, 2011. It seems to have been broken off by the looters, and all that remains are the king’s feet, right arm, harpoon and the bronze hoop that the king had held in his left hand. ahramonline wrote on April 29, 2014 that 10 artifacts stolen from the museum had been recovered, including “a wooden statue of King Tutankhamun covered in gold sheets”.

Current location with inventory numbers: Was to be restored following its recovery, and placed in a special exhibit at the Cairo Museum for three months from May 2014, before being returned to its original location, Catalogue no. JE 60710.1

Acquisition history: Found in KV62 and taken to Cairo Museum.

Bibliography: On the statue: Two, 275 c, E, wooden, harpooning on reed-float, Ent. 6o7o9-10. CARTER, iii, pls. xiii, lx, pp. 54-5; German ed. (1951), Abb. 83; see Descr. somm. [407, 994]. One, Fox, Treasure, pl. 57. and Schatz, Abb. 65; CAPART, fig. 76; id. L’Art eg. ii, pl. 358; CARTER in Ross, The Art of Egypt, fig. on p. 198; Encycl. phot. Caire, pl. 12o; HAMANN, Jig. Kunst, Abb. 270 [middle]; DRIOTON and SVED, Art egyptien, fig. 89 [middle]; LAURENT-T.ii.CKHOLM, Faraos blomster, pl. facing p. x6; ALDRED, N.K. Art, pl. I 57•

On the tomb: CARTER and MACE, The Tomb of Tut-ankh-Amen, i-iii, passim, with plan, i, p. 223; Ger-man eds. (abridged), Tut-ench-Amun. Ein iigyptisches Konigsgrab (1924), and CARTER, Das Grab des Tut-ench-Amun (1951), passim, with plan; ELLIOT SMITH, Tutankhamen, passim; MACE in M.M.A. Bull. Pt. ii, Dec. 1923, pp. 5-11; CAPART, Tout-Ankh-Amon, pp. 84-112, with plan, fig. 30; Fox, Tutankhamun’s Treasure, pp. 14-34, with plan, p. 41, and German ed. Der Schatz des Tut-ench-Amun, pp. 9-80, with plan on p. 81; BREASTED in Art and Archaeology, xvii (1924), pp. 9-17. Plans and sections, CARTER MSS. i. G. 1-6; plan, CAL-DERINI in Aegyptus, iv (1923), pl. ii facing p. 28; MALLON, Toutankhamon, son tombeau et son siecle in Scripta Pontificii lnstituti Biblici (1924), p. 11; plans showing positions of objects as found, CARTER MSS. i. G. 10-19. Hieratic texts on boxes, vases, &c., CERNY, forthcoming publication. Excavated by Carnarvon and Carter.