If hoarders stash things away just in case they need them, then the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen left the most valuable pile of junk behind.
Egyptians believed they had to travel to the next world. They had bearers who carried them on journeys on earth, so it made sense to store a chariot and portable bed beside their tomb for their spiritual journey.
This all turned out to be piffle, because when archaeologists broke open the tomb everything was still there including the pharaoh’s bones mouldering in a golden coffin.
How Tutankhamen Created His Hoard
Egyptian pharaoh’s spent their lifetime building giant pyramids to house their tombs. However, Tutankhamen was only a boy-king aged 19 when he died apparently from an infected broken leg possibly complicated by malaria.
Therefore he borrowed 80% of his collection from his mum’s tomb. This is bizarre behaviour to us, although it must have seemed normal at the time because he seems to have got away with it. Some say the boy king usurped power from her but we have no evidence for that.
Whatever the Case the Tomb Was Incredibly Rich
King Tut, as we call the lad nowadays left a treasure-chest of gold-plated furniture, jars brimming with expensive medicines and oils, and loads of food and wine for his ‘just in case’ journey. His coffin and face mask were solid gold dripping with priceless jewels.
There was even a small boat in case there were any rivers to cross on his journey, and six chariots should he get into a spot of bother. Finally there were also musical instruments to entertain him as he sailed down a celestial river in his boat.
King Tut’s Collection Was Definitely a Hoard
Modern day hoarders keep things they don’t need just in case they find a use for them later. These are usually piled higgledy-piggledy until the place is stacked to the ceiling and you can’t reach the windows.
Collectors, on the other hand keep things other people might buy in tidy displays with everything neatly labelled. King Tut’s stash however belonged to him forever because the penalty for purloining it was death.
If the archeologists had entered an empty tomb then there was a slight possibility the hoard had a purpose and it helped the pharaoh on his journey. However, in King Tut’s case this never happened because everything was still there as he left it.
So was the boy king, born with a midas touch the world’s greatest hoarder? We would need to spend a year at the Vatican and Buck Palace to be absolutely sure.
However, whatever the case the young lad did a sterling job of collecting kit. Stuff that gave him a sense of comfort about the great unknown future we all face.