Puzzle of King Tut's Inner-Coffin as Recreational Activity
The King Tutankhamun jigsaw puzzle consists of 1000 individual, cardboard pieces which fit perfectly together to form a 13.75 X 38.5 inch portrait of his inner-coffin. It serves a dual purpose, not only as a two-dimensional replica of King Tut's coffin, but also as a form of recreational activity. The fun lies in methodically assembling the pieces together to create a desired image. Its intended consumer ranges from kids to adults. The puzzle can be found in the gift section at the UCSD bookstore. The bookstore is located in the middle of a college campus, primarily dependent on the patronage of college students. As its name suggests, it mainly sells textbooks for college courses, as well as clothing, school supplies, and assorted gifts.
While the puzzle functions as an entertaining diversion, the actual inner-coffin of King Tutankhamun served a much more significant role. The discovery of this historical artifact offers a glimpse into the lifestyle and beliefs of the Egyptians. The Egyptians were deeply religious people, incorporating religious ideology into their everyday life. They believed in an inner-spirit, called the ka, which persists long after a person's death. With this in mind, they went to great lengths to ensure that the ka of a departed king enjoyed a comfortable, luxurious after-life existence, as it was crucial to the well-being of the Egyptian state. So, when King Tutankhamun died in 1327 BC., they lavished his tomb with funerary decorations and expensive furnishings. They paid particular attention to the quality and extravagance of his inner-coffin, where his remains reposed.
The marked difference in the function and significance of the jigsaw puzzle and King Tut's actual coffin is reflected in the monetary value placed on each item. The inner-coffin is made of several hundred pounds of solid gold which theoretically reproduced the bodily and facial features of King...