Slide the scrollbar to read the hieroglyphic inscription which goes around the rim of Tutankhamun's Wishing Cup. Start in the middle and go in either direction. Hover your mouse over the hieroglyph tops to read the translation from each group's tooltip.
Howard Carter found the two handled alabaster chalice 1 now in the Egyptian Musuem in Cairo just inside Tutankhamun's tomb, probably dislodged there by tomb robbers. He copied the hieroglyphs of the inscription around the rim and sent them to Sir Alan Gardiner, requesting a translation. 2
Around the rim the inscription runs in two directions flanking the unidirectional ankh in the center front. With elegant symmetry, the inscription situates an ankh in the center on the back of the rim as well.
Beginning at the center with the ankh and reading from left to right, Carter provides this translation:
"May he live, Horus 'Strong Bull fair of births,' the Two Goddesses 'Beautiful of ordinances, quelling the Two Lands,' Horus of Gold 'Wearing the diadems and propitiating the Gods,' the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, Neb Kheperu Re, granted life." 3
Reading from right to left beginning again with the ankh, Carter translates:
"Live, thy Ka, and mayst thou spend millions of years, thou lover of Thebes, sitting with thy face to the north wind, and thy eyes beholding felicity." 3
Adapting to more contemporary English than Gardiner's, I think the wish might read:
"May your ka live, and may you achieve millions of years, you who love Thebes, sitting with your face to the north wind, and your eyes seeing happiness."
Because of this wish for Tutankhamun's eternal life, Carter dubbed this chalice the king's wishing-cup. In 1995 part of the cup's inscription was placed on a new headstone for Carter in London. 4
The transluscent white drinking cup takes the form of a white lotus. Lotus buds with stems form a handle on two sides. On top of the buds the god Heh sits holding the hieroglyphs for years and life in each hand, above the signs for 100,000 and eternity, all together symbolizing eternal life. The hieroglyph for Heh stands for millions, seen above in the wish inscription.
The hieroglyph for the heavens surmounts a square on the front of the chalice's bowl. Three columns give the king's names and titles. Beginning with the middle column containing a cartouche, the hieroglyphs read from top to bottom:
"King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Neb Kheperu Re, given life."
The left column and cartouche read:
"Son of Re, living image of Amun, ruler of Thebes forever and ever."
The right column says:
"Beloved of Amun-Re lord of thrones, and of the two lands, lord of heaven." 5
Pointing the mouse to the hieroglyphs activates drop-down tooltip translations in most browsers.