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Month of Tutankhamun: Egypt's most legendary pharaoh

November marks exactly 100 years since the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. To celebrate this special discovery, the Faculty of Humanities, together with various parties, is organising the 'Month of Tutankhamun': a month full of activities around Egypt's most legendary pharaoh.

The month will kick off with a festive opening evening on Friday 4 November at the National Museum of Antiquities. 'We’ve prepared a wide variety of activities,' says professor and co-organiser Olaf Kaper. 'There are scientific lectures by Dutch specialists in the field of Tutankhamun, but above all it should be a fun evening. Visitors will be able to game, play board games or recreate Tutankhamun's mask themselves from LEGO. It promises to be a lively evening'. 

Something for everyone

For the rest of the month, there will be a lecture every Friday. Kaper himself is looking forward to the talk by textile archaeologist Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood. On Friday 18 November, she will talk about Tutankhamun's clothing. 'That will be fascinating, because she will bring with her replicas of the garments.'

There will also be films, book presentations and panel discussions and a special children's exhibition. In short, there is something for everyone. The festive month will conclude with a pub quiz on Friday 25 November. 'You can gain a lot of knowledge during the month that you can test during the pub quiz: from interesting facts about Tutankhamun to questions about Egyptian culture,' says Kaper. 

More than just gold

Kaper hopes the month will introduce the general public to the wonderful world of Tutankhamun. The pharaoh is mainly known for the precious treasures found in the intact tomb when it was excavated, but Kaper believes that Tutankhamun’s importance lies not only in these artefacts. 'The emphasis with Tutankhamun is always on the gold, but there is so much more than that. Over 5,000 objects have been found in the tomb. There is a shoe collection, for example, and clothing, but also things from the daily life of the pharaoh and his court, such as a collection of walking sticks or woven baskets. I hope the public can now learn about these things too.' 

The programme and activities are being organised by Leiden University's Faculty of Archaeology and Faculty of Humanities, the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO), LeidenGlobal, Friends of Saqqara and the National Museum of Antiquities. 

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