New Study Reveals King Tutankhamun May Have Used The World’s First Folding Camping Bed 3,300 Years Ago

It was British archaeologist Howard Carter who originally discovered King Tutankhamun’s over-3,300-year-old folding bed in 1922, but the first scientific study of this bed has just been conducted and reveals that King Tut may have once slept in the world’s first folding camping bed.

When Howard Carter originally spied King Tutankhamun’s folding bed, he noticed that this particular bed was much smaller than the other five beds that were secretly tucked away in King Tut’s burial chamber. He also discovered that it was extremely low on the ground, another thing that made it stand out from the other beds. Although Carter drew a sketch of Tutankhamun’s bed, no real research was conducted on it at the time, and the bed remained a mystery.

Naoko Nishimoto from Musashino University in Tokyo has said that it is only now, nearly a hundred years later, that King Tutankhamun’s folding camping bed is being scientifically studied, as Live Science report.

“No detailed study has been made of this bed since Carter sketched it almost a hundred years ago. This is the only real-size camping bed that has ever been found. No other pharaohs but King Tut had such a bed. It is intriguing.”

Archaeologist Howard Carter getting ready to re-seal King Tutankhamun's tomb in 1923 after discovering his folding camping bed.

Even though there were known to be two-fold beds at the time, the three-fold or Z-shaped folding bed that King Tutankhamun once slept in would have been considered a marvel 3,300 years ago and something nobody had ever seen before. Even the design of King Tut’s bed was intricate and designed for ease of use and the king’s supreme comfort.

The world’s first folding camping bed of King Tutankhamun was constructed with four wooden legs and had drums made of copper alloy that would have had most of the weight focused on them. Scientists note that because of the wooden legs, it might have normally been quite difficult to fold the bed, but hinges placed over the legs would have made it much easier to fold and unfold the bed and removed much of the strain.

There was a mat of woven strings of linen on the top of the bed’s legs, and while holes are noticeable near the double hinges, these were not used for the linen strings, as Naoko Nishimoto concluded.

“They were made with the intention to pass strings through them, but they were not used after all. If the strings had been passed through here, the bed wouldn’t have been able to fold. This trial-and-error process clearly shows that this three-fold bed was the first ever made.”

Nishimoto also said that it is clearly evident from the new study that the designers of King Tutankhamun’s special folding bed would have been constructing the king’s bed from scratch with no models of anything similar to go on, according to the Daily Mail.

“Traces of trials and errors tell us that the artisans involved in the bed production did not have any other three-fold beds for reference. The camping bed was made especially for King Tut.”

Howard Carter and Arthur Callender preparing to remove objects from King Tutankhamun's burial chamber in 1923.

Besides the fact that there was expert craftsmanship involved in the creation of Tutankhamun’s folding bed and it is the first of its kind, this object also reveals King Tut’s deep longing to go on hunting and camping expeditions, which is believed to have been impossible for him because of his club foot.

“Even though the frail young king may never have participated in long-distance or strenuous expeditions, he nevertheless loved the idea of hunting and camping. His camping bed is inherently poetic.”

Even though King Tutankhamun died at such a young age, his life was one of wonder. The objects he left behind, such as the world’s first 3,300-year-old folding camping bed, continue to reveal details of a life lived long ago in ancient Egypt.

[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]