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THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Khushwant Singh is one of the prominent Indian writers and columnists. He has written

on various themes and issues. In this lesson he gives a detailed account of his

grand mother who had a long association with him.

THE THEME

The present extract is taken from Khushwant Singh’s book “The mark of Vishnu and Other Stories”. Here, he gives an interesting pen portrait of his grandmother with whom he spent his childhood. His grandmother had a wrinkled face and a silver white hair since he knew her. She was so old and short she could not be older. Her lips were constantly moving in silent prayer. During their stay in the village she used to accompany him to school and return back home. In the way she used to throw chapattis to dogs. When they came to city, the bond of their companionship was snapped. She took to feeding the sparrows. When the writer went to study abroad, she went to see him off. After five years he returned and the grandmother met him at the station. In the evening, she collected the women, danced and sang songs. This overstrained her. She died; sparrows came to mourn her death. They did not take the crumbs of bread but flew away when the dead body was carried away.

ABOUT THE LESSON

The author’s grandmother was an old lady: Her face was full of wrinkles. She hobbled about the house with one hand on her waist and the other telling the beads of her rosary. Her lips always moved in silent prayer.

The author’s parents left the city: He was left in the village under the charge of his grandmother. They became very good friends. She would accompany him to the school. The school was attached to a temple. While the little child learnt at school, she used to read the scriptures in the temple. When the school was over, both would come home together. On their way back home she would throw stale chapattis to the dogs.

When the author’s parents were well-settled, he and his grandmother also went to the city: It proved a turning point in their friendship. The author joined an English school. She could neither accompany him to his school nor help him in his studies. They, however, lived in the same room. When the author went to the college, he was given a separate room. Thus, the last link of their friendship was broken. The grandmother kept herself busy in her prayers and spinning. In the afternoon, she would spinning and feed the sparrows. Hundreds of sparrows would gather all around her and chirp.

The author went abroad for higher studies: He came back after five years. He found his grandmother unchanged. However, in the evening a change came over her. She collected women of the neighborhood and sang to celebrate the return of her grandson.

The next day she caught mild fever: Perhaps she knew that her end was near. She stopped talking and closed her eyes. She was lost in her prayers- telling the beads of her rosary. Suddenly the rosary fell of her hand. Her lips stopped moving. She was dead. She was wrapped in a red shroud and was cremated in the evening. Her death affected even the sparrows. They neither chirped not ate the crumbs throw to them. They came only to mourn and flew away silently.

SOLVED QUESTIONS

SHORT ANSWER TYPE


  1. Why did the grandmother always accompany the author to his school?

Ans. The grandmother always accompanied the author to his school because there was a temple attached to the school. She sat in the temple and read the scriptures.

  1. How was their common link of friendship snapped?

Ans. Their common link of friendship was snapped when they arrived in the city. The grandmother no longer accompanied the author to school as he used to go by bus. She could not help him in studies because he studied in a English medium school. They saw less of each other. That’s why their link of friendship was snapped.

  1. How did the grandmother celebrate homecoming of her grandson?

Ans. When the author returned from abroad, the grandmother was very happy. She went to receive him at the station. In the evening, she collected the women of the neighbourhood, took an old drum, sang songs of the warriors’ homecoming and sat thumping it for hours. She even forgot to pray.

  1. How did the sparrows mourn the death of the grandmother?

Ans. The birds are living creatures. When the grandmother passed away, thousands of sparrows sat around her dead body. They paid no attention to the little bread crumbs. They flew away quietly when her corpse was being carried away.

  1. What was the happiest moment of the day for the grandmother?

Ans. The happiest moment of the day for grandmother was the time when she would feed the sparrows. In the afternoon, she sat in the verandah breaking the bread in to little bits. Hundreds of sparrows collected around her. Some even sat on her legs, others on her shoulders and head. She smiled but never shooed them away. This used to be the happiest moment of the day for her

LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS



  1. The grandmother was a religious and kind hearted woman. Justify.

Ans. Value points

Religious woman:- busy with her rosary beads

Her lips always moved in her silent prayers

Read the scriptures in the village temple

Always in her monotonous silent prayers that the author would learn them by heart

Kindhearted woman:- treated her grandson with love and affection

Feed the village dogs with stale chapattis

When moved to city, she feed the sparrows

Her company being with sparrows in the afternoon

She is a woman of noble nature and tender heart



  1. How did the grandmother receive the author when he returned from abroad?

Ans. Value points:- went to the railway station which the author thought of their last meeting

He was wrong in his supposition

After five years, when he returned, she celebrated his homecoming

In evening, collected women of neighbourhood, sang for hours

Next morning, she had mild fever: she knew that her end was near

She prayed continuously and died peacefully

UNSOLVED QUESTIONS

SHORT ANSWER TYPE

1. Why was it hard for the author to believe that his grandmother had once been young and pretty?

2. The author and his grandmother were good friends. Support your answer

with suitable examples.

3. Why was the grandmother distressed with education in city school?

4. What change came over the grandmother when the author returned home from

abroad?


5. How do the sparrows react at the death of the author’s grandmother?

LONG ANSWER TYPE



  1. The grandmother herself was not formally educated but was serious about the author’s education. Explain

  2. Gradually the author and the grandmother saw less of each other and their friendship was broken. Was the distancing in the relationship deliberate or the demand of the situation

  3. Why is it hard for the author to believe that his grandmother was once young and pretty?

  4. “When the people are pious and good even nature mourns their death”. Justify .

We’re Not Afraid To Die…. If We Can All Be Together”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gordon Cook(born December 3, 1978, inToronto) is a two-time Canadian Olympic sailor. He sails for the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. He is the son ofStephen Cookand Linda Cook.

Cook is a graduate of the Engineering Physics program atQueens University. AtQueens University, he also met his 2008 Olympic team partnerBen Remocker, where they were members of the university sailing team. Cook and Remocker became the first Canadians to sail a 49er in an Olympic Regatta at the2008 Beijing Olympics, where they finished 14th.
THE THEME

200 years after captain James cook’s first world voyage, this captain, a 37-year-old businessman, set sail on his three year long voyage round-the-world from Plymouth, England in July 1976. He started with his wife Mary, six year old son Jonathan and seven year old daughter Suzanne. They sailed in their specially designed and tested for worst storms boat named Wavewalker. The first leg of their journey passed pleasantly down the west coast of Africa to Cape Town. Before heading east they took two crewmen to help them face one of the roughest seas, the southern Indian Ocean. Here on the second day they encountered strong gales and very high waves lasting for weeks. Ultimately, the gigantic waves and dark roaring sky with enormous clouds broke over their ship as a torrent of green white water. The boat Wavewalker started sinking but it could be saved by continuous pumping out of water and timely repairs. After two days fighting the sea they got some respite and had their first meal. But it was short lived, the other storm hovered over them. They were all determined to fight the sea with everything they had. Mary stayed at the wheel for all those critical hours. The little girl didn’t want her parents to worry about hear head and hand injury. The six year old boy was not afraid to die.

ABOUT THE LESSON

On round the world three-years voyage : In July 1976, the captain with his wife. Mary, son Jonathan and daughter, Suzanne set sail from Plymouth, England for repeating round the world voyage which Captain James Cook made 200 years earlier. For the longest time the captain(37 year old-businessman) and his wife, Mary had dreamt of the voyage in the light of the famous explorer(James Cook) and the last 16 years they spent all their leisure time in sharpening the skills of travelling by sea in British seas. The boat ‘Wavewalker’ 23 meter long, 30 ton beautiful wooden structure was professionally built, and they had taken months in fitting and testing it in the roughest weather. The first leg of their planned three-year, 1,05,00 kilometer journey passed pleasantly. They sailed down the west coast of Africa to Cape Town.

Heading east to face the southern Indian Ocean: Before heading east, they took on two crewmen – American Larry Vigil and Swiss Herb Seigler – to help them face on of the world’s roughest seas, the Southern Indian Ocean. After coming out of Cape Town on the second day they began to encounter strong winds, continuing over weeks, the gales didn’t worry them but the size of the waves-upto 15 meters high as their main mast. On December 25, they were 3500 kilometer away and despite very rough weather they had a wonderful holiday celebrating Christmas with Christmas tree. On the New Year’s Day the weather changed to worse. At dawn on January 2, the waves became gigantic. They were sailing with a small storm ‘jib’ and making eight knots (eight nautical miles). As the ship rose to the top of each wave, they could see the endless huge sea rolling towards them. The screaming and spray of water was painful to the ears. They dropped the storm jib and fastened together the mooring rope around the back part of the boat to slowdown its speed. They double-lashed everything, did their life raft drill, made life lines ready, put on oil skins and life jackets – and waited.

First hint of imminent ruin: At around 6 p.m. in the prevailing evil silence, they got the first indication of the impending disaster. The wind stopped, sky at once grew dark. With a growing roar, a huge clowd towered over their ship.

With horror, they realized that it was not a cloud, but a wave like no other ever seen. It appeared almost vertical and double the height of all other waves having a frightful devastating top. The roar increased to a thunder as their boat moved up the wave giving him and idea of riding over it. But then an awful explosion shook the ship. The currents of green and white water started over the ship. His head strongly hit the wheel and he knew of flying overboard and sinking in the waves there overboard of the ship. He accepted his nearing death; and as he was losing consciousness, he was feeling quite peaceful. But unexpectedly his head sprang out of water. He observed Wavewalker was near capsizing with masts almost horizontal. But a wave turned the Wavewalker upright, his lifeline became tight and grabbing the guard rails and sailed into ‘Wavewalker’s main boom. The captain was subsequently tossed around the deck like a doll. His left ribs and teeth were broken. His mouth was filled with blood. He somehow hung on the wheel.

Water, Water Everywhere: The captain could feel water, water everywhere; the ship had water below. So he dared not leave the wheel. Suddenly Marry appeared from the front hatch saying, “We are sinking! The decks are broken; We are full of water.” He shouted to her. “Take the wheel.” Harry and Herb were pumping out like madmen. The broken timber hung haphazardly. The whole starboard side bulged inward: clothes, crockery, charts, tins and toys thrashed about in deep water. The captain swam and crawled into the children’s cabin to inquire about the safety. But Sue’s big bump above her eyes was hurting her head, though he had no time to worry about it. With a hammer, screws and canvas he struggled back on deck to make repairs on starboard side. It was letting in water with every wave. If not repaired, they would surely sink. Somehow he managed to cover the gaping holes with canvas and waterproof hatch covers. Any water still streaming below was mostly deflected over the side.

More problems arising: The hands pumps started to block up with debris floating around the cabins and electric pump also short circuited. The rising water level was threatening. But he found his two spare hand pumps wrenched overboard with forestay sail, the jib, the dinghies and main anchor. From under the chartroom-floor he took out his another electric pump and connected it to an out pipe and all worked again. The whole night they did endless, bitterly cold routine of pumping , steering and sending radio signals. The captain got no replies from their Mayday Calls – not being so surprising in far-off corner of the world.

Sue’s head had swollen alarmingly, blackening her big eyes and now she showed a deep cut on her arm. She didn’t tell about the injuries before because she did not want to worry her father when he was trying to save them all.

Search for an Island before reaching Australia: By morning on January 3, the pump had brought the water level sufficiently under control giving them two hours rest in rotation from pumping. Still somewhere below the water time there was a huge leak. On checking it was found that nearly all the boat’s main rib frames were destroyed fully. In fact, except a few cupboard partitions, there was nothing to hold up the whole section of the starboard frame. The Wavewalker could hold them for 15 hours after the wave hit, but wouldn’t hold long enough for them to reach Australia. He checked his charts and calculated that there were two small islands a few hundred kilometers to the west. One of them –The Amsterdam – a French scientific base, was their only hope to reach the trifling irritations in the vast Indian Ocean. But their chance would be slim indeed, unless the wind and the seas cooled down so they could hoist sail. The great wave had put the supporting engine out of order.

Keep pace with water still coming in: After 36 hours of continuous pumping on January 4, they reached a stage of keeping pace of pumping out the water still coming in. They couldn’t set any sail on the main mast. So they hoisted the storm jib and head for the islands. Mary found some corned beef and cracker biscuits, and they took their first meal in almost two days.

Short-lived respite: But their rest period was short. At 4 p.m. black clouds and the wind was back to 40 knots and the seas rose higher. The weather worsened throughout the night and at dawn on January 5, the situation became alarming again. When the captain went to comfort the children, Jon asked “Daddy are we going to die ?” He tried to assure Jon, but he went on, ‘We are not afraid of dying if we can all be together- you and Mummy, She and I” He could find no words to respond, but he left children’s cabin determined to fight the sea with all their might. The captain decided to go ahead to protect the weakened starboard side with the undamaged port hill to face the oncoming waves. He would use an improvised sea anchor of heavy nylon rote and two 22 liter plastic barrels of paraffin.

That evening he sat with Mary holding her hand as the motion of ship brought more and more in through broken planks. They both felt the end was very near.

Wavewalker Rode out of Storm: By the morning of January 6, with the slowing down of the wind, the Wavewalker rode out of the storm. He worked on the sextant. Back in the chartroom he worked on wind speeds, drift and current to know their position. He concluded that they were somewhere in 150,000 kilometers of ocean searching a 65 kilometer wide island. Then little Sue moving painfully joined him. The lift side of her head was so much swollen that her blackened eyes narrowed to slits. She gave him the card she had made.

On the front of the card were caricatures of her parents with the words : “Here are some funny people. Did they make you laugh? I laughed a lot as well. Inside the card was a message: “Oh, how I love you both. So this card is to say thank you and let’s hope for the best.

Cheerful landing: The captain checked and rechecked his calculations. They had lost the main compass and he had been working with the spare one which was not corrected for magnetic variation. I did it and estimated again for influence of western currents passing through this region of the Indian Ocean. At 2 P.M. he went on the deck and asked Mary to steer a course of 185 degrees. He hoped that at about 5 p.m. they could expect to see the island. Then with a heavy heart he went below climbed on his sleeping seat and surprisingly slept. He woke up at 6 p.m. when it was growing dark. He knew they must have lost the island and with the sail they were left, they couldn’t hope to beat back the westerly winds. That moment a rough head appeared by my bunk, “Can I have a hug?” Jon asked, Sue was right behind him. He asked the reason. His son replied, You are the best daddy in the whole world – and the best captain. He told his son Jonathan, no today I am afraid. Sue spoke, “Why you must be. You found the island”. He shouted ‘What!’ It is out there in front of us. They spoke in one voice, ‘as big as a battleship’. He rushed to the deck and gazed with relief at the Amsterdam. It was a black piece of a volcanic rock, with little vegetation – the most beautiful island in the world.

Inhabitants of the island cheered them ashore: They anchored offshore for the night. On January 7 morning, all 28 inhabitants of the island cheered them as they took them ashore. With land under his feet again the captain thought of Larry and Herbie who worked cheerfully with optimism under the horrible pressure. The captain thought of his wife Mary who stayed at the wheel for all those crucial hours. Most of all, he thought of the seven-year-old girl Suzanne who didn’t want them to worry about her head injury which afterwards took six minor operations to remove the blood clot happening again and again between skin and skull. And he thought of Jonathan, a six-year-old boy who was not afraid to die.

SOLVED QUESTIONS

SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS



  1. When did the Captain and the family members start their voyage?

Ans. The Captain and family members had dreamt of sailing round the world in the wake of the famous ancient voyager Capt. James Cook. For the past 16 years, they spent all their leisure time in sharpening their seafaring skills in the roughest weather they could find in British Waters.

  1. Describe the boat Wavewalker.

Ans. it was a 23 metre, 30 ton wooden strongly structured boat named Wavewalker. It had been builtby expert boat manufacturers. It took months fitting it out and was tested in the roughest weather. It was provided with all essential spare items of requirements during horrible sea storms.

  1. How did the voyagers celebrate their Christmas and where?

Ans. on the Christmas Day, the voyagers were 3500kms east of Cape Town in the southern Indian Ocean. Though the sea was rough, they enjoyed a wonderful holiday. They celebrated Christmas singing carols complete with a Christmas tree with them. They had carried Santa Claus who brought them presents on Christmas Eve. They expected the weather to improve but it didn’t.

  1. When did the wave storm strike WaveWalker? How did the captain face it?

Ans. It was 6PM on January 2, 1977 that the gigantic waves died out. With an ominous silence, the wind dropped and sky grew dark. A perfectly vertical wave, twice the height of other wave appeared. With a tremendous explosion, it broke over the ship shaking its deck and sending a torrent of green and white water over it. Captain’s head smashed into the wheel, he flew overboard and sinking below the waves. WaveWalker was nearly capsized. Subsequent waves tossed up the ship and injured the captain badly. There was water everywhere on the ship.

LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS



  1. Describe the struggle of the voyagers after WaveWalker was hit by the storm.

Ans. Value Points:- Captain took two crewmen- American Larry Vigil and Swiss Herb Seigler

Second day, face strong gales

Small storm jib was dropped to slow the speed

Terrible storm broke the ship and filled with water

Captain’s head smashed, flying in the waves but subsequent waves tossed him. His left rib cracked, teeth broke. Sue’s head bumped

For 36 hours, the crewmen kept pumping out the water from the ship

Radio signals were not responded

The condition of wavewalker was not proper. So, they decided to find Ile Amstersdam for help.



  1. The voyage ate their first meal in almost two days. But their respite was short lived. why? what happened that time?

Ans. Value Points:- Crewmen brought the water level to few centimeters in the ship.

Wave storm abated. They headed towards the island.

Mary found some food and they had their first meal in two days

They kept pace with water

At 4PMblack clouds began to approach. Soon strong wind was back with 40 nautical miles. Rough weather. No sail on the main mast.

Auxillary engine gone out of work. Chances of survival were less.

Captain could not find words to console the children

More water came in with the motion of the ship.

Planks broken.they felt that their end is near.

UNSOLVED QUESTIONS

SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS

1. What was the object behind the writer’s undertaking the journey?

2. What are Mayday calls? Why was the ship getting no replies to its Mayday calls?

3.What did Sue say when she was asked by her father why she had not complained much about

her grave injuries at the first instance?

4.What happened at 6pm on 2nd of January?


LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS

1. Highlight the tremendous courage and stoicism shown by the two children during the struggle

of the ship to keep from sinking?
2.How does the story suggest that optimism helps to endure ‘the direct stress ’?

3.What picture does the lesson draw on lives at sea?

4. What are the different technical aspects of a boat that the lesson highlights

Discovering Tut : The Saga Continues

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A R Williams is working as a senior writer in National Geographic magazine. The extract “Discovering Tut” is taken from one of her featured articles . Her other works include “Bamboo clothing ”, “Mystery of the Tattooed Mummy” and much more.

THEME


This story by A.R.William very vividly describes the progress of the process which involved excavating and studying the mummy of the famous Egyptian king Tutankhamun.Tutankhamun died in his teens. Since his tomb was discovered in 1922, after 22 years, Tut underwent a CT scan that offered new clues on his life and death. Investigations showed the real cause of death of the young Pharaoh. Reconstruction refers to re-establishing the previously held belief about the circumstances under which the young Pharaoh died. He became the king when he was 11 years old and died after ruling for 8 years. It is thought that he could have been murdered. Tut or Tutankhamun was born in BC 1341, that is, around 3400 year back in those days when Egypt was a very powerful country. He was the son of the ruling king (Pharaoh) Akhenaten of the 18th Dynasty. Tut became king/pharaoh at a very early age of 8 but his reign lasted a few years. Tut died – probably he was killed or he died in a war, in an accident, at the age of 18, probably.

ABOUT THE LESSON

King Tut was just a teenager when he died. He was the last heir of a powerful family that had ruled Egypt and its empire for centuries. He was laid to rest laden with gold and eventually forgotten. Since the discovery of his tomb in 1922, the modern world has speculated about what happened to him, with murder the most extreme possibility. Now, leaving his tomb which was discovered almost 80 years back, Tut has for the first time undergone a CT scan that offers new clues about his life and death – and provides precise data for an accurate forensic reconstruction of the boyish pharaoh. The lingering medical mysteries of this little understood young ruler who died more than 3,300 years ago are being revealed with the findings that his breast-bone and front ribs are missing.

Angry wind-ghostly dust: There began a very strong wind stirring up the ghostly dust devils when king Tut was taken from his tomb in the ancient Egypt cemetery called the Valley of the kings. Dark black clouds ran with quick motion across the desert sky and were covering the stars also with grey colour. On January 5, 2005, at 6 p.m. the world’s most famous mummy (dead body) with head was flown here into a CT scanner. It was to probe the decaying medical mysteries of this little understood young ruler who died more than 3300 years ago. Line of tourists-pay respect: From around the world one afternoon tourists had come and made queue as usual to get down into the narrowed rock-cut tombs, 26 feet underground to pay their respects (to Tut). They watched the paintings on the walls of the burial chamber. They looked hard with narrowed eyes at Tut’s gilded face which was the most impressive feature of his mummy shaped outer coffin lid.

Some visitors read from guidebooks in a whisper. Others stood silently perhaps they were thinking about Tut’s untimely death in his late teens (at 18 or 19). Or they might be wondering with a fear if the pharaoh’s curse –death or curse fell upon those who disturbed them was really the reason.

Mummy’s bad condition with complete contents: Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities told that the mummy was in a very bad condition as he bent because of what carter did in the 1920s. Howard Carter, a British archaeologist, in 1922 discovered Tut’s tomb after years of futile search. Its contents belonging to ancient times were surprisingly complete, though they were hastily thoroughly searched. They remain so far the richest royal collection ever found and have become part of the pharaoh’s legend. The surprising artifacts in gold with their eternal brilliance meant to guarantee the revival from the grave. They caused an excitement for the public at the time of their discovery – and still get the most attention. But Tut was also buried in the grave with everyday things he would want in the afterlife. The board games, a bronze razor, linen undergarments, cases of food and wine all were there in his grave.

Investigating three nested coffins: It took months to record the pharaoh’s burial treasures. After that Carter began to investigate the three layers coffins. On opening the first, he found a winding sheet of a corpse which was decorated with garlands of willow and olive leaves, wild celery, lotus petals, and cornflowers. All this gave a faded proof of a burial in March or April. When finally, he reached the mummy he ran into a trouble. The ritual resins had so hardened that it cemented tut to the bottom of his solid gold Coffin. No amount of reasonable force could move them to separate. Carter later wrote ‘what was to be done?”

The sun to loosen the resins-nothing budged: In this far South Egypt the sun can beat down like a hammer. If Carter failed to use the sun to loosen the resins. For several hours the mummy was set outside in the blazing sunshine that heated the mummy upto 144 degrees Fahrenheit. But nothing moved. Without any scientific consideration he reported that the solidified material had to be cut down with a chisel from below the limbs and trunk to enable to raise the king’s remains.

Fabulously Wealthy royals: In this action of cutting out the king’s remains with a chisel Carter really had no other choice. If he had not cut the mummy free, thieves must have cheated the guards and tore it out to remove the gold. During Tut’s time the royal people were wonderfully wealthy. They thought or hoped that they could take their wealth with them for death afterlife. King Tut for his journey to the afterlife, also was bestowed heavily with glittering goods (of gold); costly neckbands, engraved designed necklaces and bracelets, rings amulets, a ceremonial apron, sandals, sheaths for his fingers and toes, and the image inner coffin and the mask – all of pure gold. In order to separate Tut from his decorations, Carters men removed the mummy’s head, and disunited nearly every major joint. After completing it, they reassembled the remains on a layer of sand in a wooden box with padding that hid the damage and the bed where Tut now rests.

Archaeology Changed for focus on life: Archaeology has really changed during these decades. It now focuses less on the reassure and more on the attractive details of life and improper and secret plotting mysteries of death. It now uses more modern and accurate tools, along with medical technology. More than 40 years after Carter’s discovery (of Tut’s tomb), in 1968 a professor of anatomy X-rayed the mummy and revealed an astonishing fact: Tut’s breast bone and front ribs are missing.

Diagnostic imaging-CT scan: These days photo taking to ascertain symptoms of diseases is done with computed tomography or CT. By this hundreds of X-rays in cross section are put together like slices of bread, to create a three dimensional virtual body. A CT scan of Tut can what reveal more than X-ray. And to two delaying biggest questions about Tut how did he die, and how old was he at the time of his death? Answers are being discovered.

Tuts funeral-death rattle of dynasty: King Tut’s death was an extraordinary event because of XXX standards. He was the last of his clan and his funeral was the death bill of his dynasty. But, particulars of his death and the after results are not clear.

Amenhotep III-a powerful pharaoh: Tut’s father or grandfather, depend upon how you read the proof-was a powerful pharaoh. He rules for almost four decades at the climax of the 18th dynasty’s golden age.

Strangest Period of Ancient history: His son Amenhotep IV sat on the throne aftr him. He started one of the strangest period in the history of ancient Egypt. The new pharaoh started the worship of the Aten, the sun disk. He changed his name to Akhenaten, meaning “servant of the Aten.” He shifted the religious capital from the old city of thebes to the new city of Akhetaten(now called Amarna).

He shocked the country further by attacking a major god, “Amun’ by shattering his images and closing his temples. The directory of the university of Chicago Research Centre in Luxor, the site of ancient thebes, Ray Johnsen said, “It must have been a horrible time. The family that had ruled for centures was coming to an end, and then Akhenaten went a little wacky.

Young Tutankhaten took throne: After the death of King Akhenaten, a musterious ruler named Smenkhkare ruled for a short period and left without leaving any sign.

Then a very young Tutankhaten sat on the throne-today he is widerly knows as king Tut. The boy king soon changed his name to TutanKhanum-meaning the living image of the god Amun. He started the revival of the old ways. He ruled for about nine years, and then he died unexpectedly.

Tut-One mummy among many: Without caring for his fame and guess about his fate, Tut is one mummy among many in Egypt. No one knows how many. The Egyptian Mummy Project began in search in late 2003. So far it has found 600 and is still counting.

The next phase was of scanning the mummy with a portable CT machine which was donated by its manufacturer the National Geographical Society and Siemens. King tut is one of the first mummies to be scanned in death, as in life, moving royally ahead of his country men.

CT Scan for probe: A CT machine scanned Tut’s mummy from head to toe, making 1,700 digital X-rays images in cross section. Tut’s head scanned in 0.62 mm slices to record it complicated structures. The final image produces details exciting fear. Tut’s whole body was similarly recorded. A team of experts in radiology, forensics and anatomy started their examination of secrets which were protected by the winged goddesses of gilded burial shrine for such a long time (over 3300 years).

Night of the scan: The workmen took out tut’s box from the tomb. Like the coffin carriers they climbed the ramp and then stairs to come in the open of whirling sand outside. Then they rose with a water-pressure lift into the vehicle that had the CT scan machine. Twenty minutes later two men came out and ran to a nearby office and come back with white plastic fans. The million dollar machine had left scanning due to the sand entering the collar fan. A frightened guard joked by calling it, “curse of pharaoh.”

Three hours after-again rested in peace: Finally, the additional pair of fans worked well enough to complete scanning work. After verifying that no data was missing, the technicians handed over Tut to the workmen. They carried him back to his tomb. It was less than three hours after he was removed from his coffin, the pharaoh again rested in peace at the same place where he was laid by the funerary priest over 3300 years ago.

Tut on a computer screen: The technicians reached back on the trailer (vehicle) and pulled up surprising images of Tut on a computer screen. From the scattered dots in computer a grey head took shape. The technicians rotated and bent it in every direction. The other images showed a hand, several poses of the rib cage and a section of the skull. Now the probe pressure was over. Zahi Hawass sitting back in his chair smiled and he felt relieved that nothing had gone wrong. He said “I didn’t sleep last night, not for a second; I was so worried. But now I think I will go and sleep.

Winter air-cold and still: By the time they left the trailer and came down the metal stairs to the sandy ground, the winter wind stopped, lay cool and still, like death itself, in this valley of the dead pharaohs.

Orion – the constellation, ancient Egyptians took as the soul of Orisis, the god of the afterlife; was shining just above the entrance to Tut’s tomb. It was guarding the boy king Tut.

SOLVED QUESTIONS

SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS


  1. Where is Tut’s body buried?
    King Tut’s body is buried inside an enormous pyramid in the royal cemetery called the Valley of Kings in Egypt.

  2. Why did ancient Egyptians bury their dead along with enormous riches?
    The ancient Egyptians believed in life after death. Because they believed that the dead would one day return to life and that they would therefore need riches in gold and diamonds, the relatives of the dead buried as much gold and other valuables as that allowed them to bury.

  3. How did archaeologists find out that Tut’s body was buried in March? 
    When Howard Carter opened the first nested coffin, he saw shrouds, olive leaves, wild celery, lotus petals, etc. which suggested the possibility

  4. What did the tourists do at that time?

The tourists queued up as usual all afternoon into the narrowed rock- cut tomb. They lined up to pay their homage to King Tut. They watched the murals on the burial chamber. Some read the guide books where as other stood silently.

  1. Why was King Tut’s demise a big event even by royal standards?

King Tut’s demise4 was a big event because he was the last ruler of his dynasty. His funeral was the death bell of his dynasty that had ruled in Egypt for centuries. This big event is because of the fact that he died unexpectedly at young age. The particulars of his death are not clear.
LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS

    1. How was Tut different from his ancestor?

Amenhotep IV – Tut’s father

      1. Promoted the worship of Aten (Sun disk)

      2. Changed his name to Akhenaten (Servant of Aten)

      3. Shifted the religious capital from the old city of Thebes to the new city of Akhetaten. (Now known as Amarana)

      4. Attacked God Amun by smashing images and closing temples.

Tutankhaten – Tutankhamun – TUT

      1. Changed his name to Tutankhamun (Living image of Amun)

      2. Restored all the old ways.

Reigned for nine years and died unexpectedly

    1. Why was the funerary treasure not taken away since the discovery of Tut’s tomb in 1922? Who guarded it?

Royal family – extremely rich

They believed in afterlife

Funerary treasure used to be a real store house of the riches

Pharoah’s curse was the main reason –it checked thieves & winged Goddesses guard the mummies & the ir treasure.

Visitors are compelled to believe such guarding forces- angry wind blew ghostly dust devils when King Tut’s body was taken out of his coffin; heavy dark clouds etc.

UNSOLVED QUESTIONS

SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS


  1. Why did Howard Carter decide to amputate Tut’s body?

  2. Why did ancient Egyptians bury enormous treasures along with their dead?

  3. What startling mystery did the x-raying of Tut’s body in 1968 reveal?

  4. Opening the first gilded coffin, Carter reached a conclusion that Tut’s body was buried in the month of March. How did his speculation work?

  5. Why does Zahi Hawas blame Howard Carter?

LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS

    1. What is Pharoah’s curse? Do you believe it to be the cause of boy king’s untimely death? Why/ why not?

    2. A.R Williams says ‘King Tut is…. in death, as in life moving regally ahead of his countrymen’. How far do you agree with the assertion and why?

    3. How did Carter defend his action of cutting the mummy free?

4. Describe the Egyptian rulers that you find mention in the lesson.

5. Do you feel the lesson is able to mirror the element of mystery that is associated

with the Egyptians pyramids and the mummies inside them?




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