This golden hippo head with a fine toothy grin is part of one of three funerary beds found in Tutankhamun’s tomb. The purpose of these beds isn’t clear, the books I looked at fall back on a standard phrase “ritual purposes”, perhaps to do with mummification or funerary rites.

The creature is either Ammut, the Devourer who eats the hearts of those who fail the Judgement, or Taweret, a protective goddess associated with birth (or in this case rebirth). She has a hippo head (at the head end of the bed), the body and legs of a lion or leopard (the sides and feet of the bed) and the tail of a crocodile (at the foot board).

Funerary Bed with Hippo Heads from the Tomb of Tutankhamun. From KV62, Valley of the Kings. New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Tutankhamun, c. 1334-1325 BCE. Acc. No.: JE62012

When I photographed it in 2016 it was in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, acc. no. JE62012. By now it must be in the new Grand Egyptian Museum built at Giza, with a new accession number (I believe).

See it on my photo site: and go one to the right for another view of the toothy grin.

Jigsaw puzzles:

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