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Opening of the Mouth Ceremony



In the tomb of Tutankhamun, in the Valley of the Kings depicted on the north wall of his tomb, the new Pharaoh Ay carries out the "Opening of the Mouth" ceremony on his "father" Tutankhamun, although he is much older than the deceased king.  The new king is dressed in the panther skin of the sem-priest, wearing the blue crown (the Khepresh) with the uraeus, and has white sandals on his feet.  He is playing a role usually reserved for the eldest of the dead Pharaoh’s sons, which, after performing the ceremony, affirms his legitimacy to rule.  

          Tutankhamun, whom Ay ministers to, is represented as Osiris.  Wearing the double Atef crown with the uraeus, he holds the Nekhakha whip and the flagellum, which are signs of his power.  His hooked tip beard represents his status among the glorified deceased.  Around his neck is a large necklace from which hangs a Kheper scarab and a solar disk, the sign of rebirth.  The text in the adjacent hieroglyph (Ay speaking to the mummy of Tutankhamun) reads:

The good god, Lord of the Two-lands, Lord of rituals, King of Upper and Lower Egypt Kheper-kheperu-ra, (the) son of Ra, Divine-Father Ay, endowed eternally with life and forever like Ra….The good god, Lord of the Two-lands, Lord of the Crowns, King of Upper and Lower Egypt Neb-kheperu-ra, (the) son of Ra, Tutankhamun,  Master of the Heliopolis of the South, endowed with life, eternally.”

The hieroglyphic board depicted in the link below is based upon the actual North Wall in Tutankhamun’s tomb.  In spite of its general accuracy, it is an artistic inscription and rendering of the original wall painting.

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Opening of the Mouth Ceremony




North Wall of Tutankhamun’s Tomb