are some free Egyptian themed costume history colouring-in pictures for your personal use. Children can add their own coloured decorative shapes to the gem bands on the King Tut funeral mask.
King Tutankhamun was a married boy King of 19 years when he died. His
tomb was found in 1922 by the English gentleman archaeologist Howard Carter.
It is now thought by Egyptologists that Tutankhamen's father was the Pharaoh
Akhenaton (occupant of tomb 55 in the Valley of the Kings) and who ruled
for 17 years. Shared blood grouping has suggested that Tutankhamun and
Akhenaton were closely related.
Akhenaton's consort was his wife Queen Nefertiti, a most beautiful
woman and the coloured statue of her head is shown right. It is
this statue which confirms the use of a
cosmetic product to make
Egyptian lips red. You will also find a colouring-in picture of an
Egyptian headdress on that page.
Later Queen Nefertiti became co-regent and power passed to her on
King Akhenaton's death, before she too met her demise. It seems Queen Nefertiti only
bore daughters, and that the mother of King Tut was in fact another secondary wife of Akhenaton. Kiya as she was called, was at one point in favour
with the king, until she was in turn usurped by Nefertiti.
Tutankhamun was in his teens when he married his half sister,
Queen Nefertiti's daughters called Ankhsenamun. Keeping
property, wealth and power closely within the family was thought to
safeguard the continuance of the dynasty.
Many of the ancient Egyptian names end in 'amun',
but sometimes Tutankhamun is spelled as Tutankhamen.
The version Tutankhamun came into general use in UK when King Tut's
exhibition first came to Britain in the early 1970s. Suddenly, we were all
told the correct way to pronounce it was with an ending sound of ahhhhh-moon! These days he is most likely to be referred to as the abbreviated King TUT.
The abbreviation is due in part to songs about the young king.
I like this shorter version of the name as this is one king that seems
like an old friend, because we know so much about him. Besides texting 'Off to see King Tutankhamun at O2' may just
be a tad long for today's teenager!
young royal couple had no living offspring, but two mummified stillborn
babies were buried in the chamber to accompany King Tutankhamun on his
journey to the spirit world.
King Tut had a magnificent tomb filled with golden treasure to
keep him well contented in the afterlife. It is because of the
breathtaking gloriousness of that tomb of
treasure, that his name will live on forever.
The Pharaoh's body was inside 3 coffins, with a stone sarcophagus
surround and 4 gilded shrines. The weight of the coffin was so heavy it
took 8 men to lift it. It was only when the layers were removed that the
second coffin revealed itself to be solid gold. The mummified
corpse also had a separate gold mask. But the king's embalmed
organs were stored apart in a nearby shrine. In all some 150 items
of gold or decorative ornament were removed from the mummy and over 200
items in total made up the treasure.
The treasure included vast quantities of gold or gold inlaid items -
a gold dagger, gold sandals, a wooden gold decorated inlaid throne, gold
statues, carved cosmetic jars, ivory game board set, chests, boxes and
various pectorals of mixed types. All unseen before and all
Howard Carter the British archaeologist, with the backing of the fifth
Earl of Caernarvon, had spent years searching for the treasure, only to
discover it eventually in 1922.
Costume history lovers will all be
well aware that various personalities, including Napoleon and Lord Byron have
been attracted to elements of Egyptian fashion, style, design, colour and
culture. But ever since 1922 the treasure and culture of Egypt and
King Tut have been even more inspirational as a fresh source of
Some consider the 1922 discovery to have been the strongest influence of
later Art Deco design. Films concentrating on Egyptian themes, like
the 1963 film of Cleopatra, also highlight Egyptian elements and set a new
craze going whether it be eyeliner, or gold thong sandals.
By the time
King Tut came to power, Egypt was well established as a great
civilisation. Much of this greatness was due to the geographical
position of Egypt and nearness to the south-eastern Mediterranean ports.
The famous Egyptian river, the Nile, also enabled lands to be kept
watered and therefore fertile. In addition, people could be transported
up and the down the length of the river making communication and trade
with nations like Assyria and the neighbouring Mediterranean coast a
informs us that the ancient Egyptian society developed from 7000 B.C.,
over a period of 5000 years, until we reached the Egyptian dynasty
called the Old Kingdom.
By the Old Kingdom dynasty 2613-2160 B.C., the Egyptians had become used
to following many gods and goddesses. They also practised
elaborate rituals to look after the dead in their afterlife and they
prepared for their impending death in life.
It's worth noting that few
Egyptians of this period lived beyond the age of 40, so it's easy to understand why they were so preoccupied with mortality.
It is because of the elaborate funerary preparations they made, and
the building of elaborate tombs to house the royal dynasties, that we
know so much about the ancient Egyptians today. Wall paintings
within tombs show Egyptians going about their daily life - living,
eating, grooming, dressing, writing, worshipping, building, romancing
beside the river Nile meant the Egyptians fared better than many other
civilisations. The warm climate plus irrigation methods that
utilised the Nile, enabled food to be grown relatively easily.
In early Egyptian times the Egyptians used the simple hand operated
water mechanism called the shaduf, pronounced shadoof as prime
The shaduf consisted of a pole, a container bucket for the water and a
counterweight on the opposite end. This made it easy for one person to
dip the shaduf into the Nile and by balancing the counterweight swing up
the water and deposit the shaduf safely on the land. More complex
arrangements meant water could also be passed from shaduf to shaduf.
Food and Wine
With water on hand, food was successfully grown.
The ancient Egyptians grew a range of crops (emmer wheat and barley)
from which they could extract a flour suitable for making bread. They
also kept sheep, cows, goats and pigs for meat, fats, milk, wool and
They cultivated grapes to make wine, and they were able to make a product called papyrus from papyrus reeds to make a material that Scribes could write on, using their specialist writing language called
Linen & Fabrics
In costume history terms, it valuable to note how they were also able to
treat flax fibres, retting (rotting) them beside the river Nile, through
all the necessary stages of fibre separation, right up to the natural
sun bleaching process. After which, the combed flax was spun and
woven into into linen cloth or made into twines.
Linen cloth bandages were used extensively in the treatment of the dead
during mummification, as well as the basic material in everyday clothing
for the living. Early linens were coarser than later fine linen
fabrics. Later linen materials could be spun gossamer fine and
made sheer, or semi sheer like fine lawn fabrics. Wool, cotton and
leather was also used.
Fashion was important in ancient Egypt, but most attention on dress for
both men and women was kept for decorative collars and the headdress.
There were 4 basic styles of clothing and the shapes were very simple.
They wore the tunic a
very simple shift, the robe,
the skirt and cape or
the draped shawl styles. These 4 styles developed over the centuries
until all 4 styles were worn side by side.
These Egyptian clothing fashions were discussed in
other pages that also
gave pattern guidelines and wrapping instructions. The guides are
perfect if you are looking for fancy dress instructions.
ancient Egyptians worshipped a range of Gods and Goddesses. Some
of the most famous gods include Osiris, chief judge and god of
resurrection and vegetation, Isis wife of Osiris and divine mother of
Horus the soaring hawk, was the divine god and protector of the King
with his all seeing eye. Hathor the cow headed woman, the goddess of
love and fertility was the wife of Horus.
Re or sometimes Ra the sun god was reborn every day and was the overall
head of some nine gods. After life came death, then rebirth. Anubis was regarded as the great embalmer having first embalmed Osiris.
Anubis was the guide for the dead seeking their way to the underworld
whilst being the patron of embalmers and always depicted a black jackal
To prepare themselves for the period of time after death called the
afterlife the Egyptian kings decided they needed tombs where they could have all the
necessary comforts to make that afterlife journey as easy and beautiful
as possible. To this end they had men build large tombs called
pyramids. Egyptologists now know that skilled craftsmen were
employed as opposed to slaves, and that a great deal of labouring work was carried
out on the pyramids when farming work was not possible, for example
during the Nile floods.
The first pyramid tomb was the Step Pyramid for King Djoser in
2680.B.C. The ancient Egyptians had a good understanding of
complex geometry. The Step Pyramid was built by the great Egyptian architect Imhotep, at
Saqqara. The concept behind the stepped pyramid was that the king
would be able to walk his way up the steps to the gods in they sky.
Of the 100 or so pyramids dispersed over
Egypt, the pyramids at Giza are justly famous. In 2580 B.C., the Great
Pyramid of Giza was built for King Khufu. It stands in sight of
two smaller pyramids at 480 feet and is made from over 2,300,000
precision cut blocks of limestone.
The pyramids became more and more elaborate with hidden chambers
intended to fox thieves as each burial became more and more complex as
the dynasties progressed.
know from excavated evidence that burial chambers within the pyramid
tombs were filled with all manner of domestic and personal items.
Jewels and luxurious artefacts, small boats, ornamental guard dogs and
ornamental furniture both personal and household provided rich pickings
for thieves and vagabonds. Tutankhamen's tomb alone was filled with some
35 boats to ensure he made a safe passage to the underworld. His
tomb is one of the few found intact, giving us a rare insight into the
psyche of the ancient Egyptian royals.
The majority of items were made from precious metals, precious gems, and
luxury materials like onyx. Gold was abundant in the area along
the Nile in Nubia, as well as on the coast of the Red Sea. Precious
and semi precious gems and other materials were crafted into the gold
with sheer artistry peculiar to the Egyptian style. Favourite gems
included lapis lazuli, turquoise and malachite. In addition glass
was highly prized and used mainly as a decorative bauble alongside mined
Please note all of the thumbnail line drawings on this page can be
enlarged and then printed off on A4 paper for school use. They should
not be reproduced in any other manner and remain under fashion-era
copyright. You will find coloured versions of some of these images
on the other ancient Egypt costume history pages.
Fashion-Era.com looks at women's costume and fashion history and analyses the mood of an era. Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values. Homelife and politics also
contribute to lifestyle trends, which in turn influence the clothes we wear. These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period.
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