Tutankhamun, like all Ancient Egyptians, believed that they would enjoy eternal life, and that in future they would be recognised and their names would be spoken. For this particular Pharaoh that wish has come true. Although in life he was little more than a bit part player at a tumultuous time in history, the survival of his Tomb undiscovered for thousands of years in the Valley of the Kings has assured him of the immortality he sought.
Tutankhamun's gold mask is perhaps the most iconic object from our planet's history, and it is possibly the most recognisable object on Earth.
Tutankhamun brought an unprecedented level of interest to Egyptology. Today thousands of people every year file past his mask in Cairo, or visit his small and relatively unimportant tomb. Perhaps only second to the Pyramids, the Mask draws people to Egypt. Anyone who sees it can not fail to be impressed, and indeed to wonder about the teenager who was buried in it.
It has not all been good news for Tutankhamun though. After centuries of undisturbed rest the modern age has not been so kind. The mummy was largely destroyed by Howard Carter and his team in their rush to recover every last piece of gold from within its wrappings. The arms and legs were broken off, the body cut in half and the head removed. In fact even the beautiful mask was separated from the mummy using hot knives to melt the resin which held it in place.